Feeds

Croatian brainboxes deploy calculus-based CAPTCHA

Head-scratching puzzler

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Boffins at Croatia's Ruđer Bošković Institute are confronting surfers with difficult maths problems as an alternative to conventional CAPTCHA conundrums.

Web users signing up for new accounts are typically asked to decipher the text in a jumbled up image and input the results into a dialogue box. The challenge-response test is designed to frustrate the automation of web service enrollment and needed because, for example, webmail accounts are a useful tool for spam distribution.

Text-based CAPTCHAs are by for the most frequent form of this reverse Turing test, though image-based approaches are sometimes applied.

The Croatian brainboxes, however, have discarded all that by confronting would-be users of a random bit generator service with a difficult calculus conundrum.

calculus_problem

Refreshing the page, however, generates a much simpler problem...

Would-be users of such a service are likely to be cryptographers or others versed in the more obscure mathematical arts, perhaps. The puzzle is perhaps more easily solved by computers than humans.

Especially when, as the Los Angeles Times points out, knowledge engine Wolfram Alpha provides the most efficient approach for most humans towards solving the problem. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.