Feeds

Video CAPTCHAs target cyberbaddies

Animated Turing tests

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

NuCaptcha has extended its video-based CAPTCHA service that it claims will make things easier for users while making life more difficult for spammers and other cyber-baddies.

The technology, which is customisable, involves asking users to identify moving text in an animation against a video background. NuCaptcha is positioned the technology as an alternative to traditional distorted text-based Captchas from the likes of Google and others.

The software is available in free, ad-supported or paid-for enterprise formats featuring varying levels of complexity, refinement and security, as explained in a short (but somewhat cheesy) video clip here.

The Canadian start-up began offering NuCaptcha Basic, a freemium security service for websites and blogs that offers up to 25,000 CAPTCHAs per month, last year. It extended this portfolio with ad-supported, enterprise and branded versions of the product on Thursday, alongside a campaign designed to encourage webmaster to make the switch.

Applications include everything from website sign-ups for the free product, to challenge screens for corporate password resets for the enterprise product.

The system is designed to detect unusual behaviour, increasing the complexity of the CAPTCHA while slowing down the video. The approach is designed to make it difficult for both bots and human-farms to solve CAPTCHAs in high volumes.

The CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) has been used for years to prevent automated sign-ups to webmail accounts and the like. Users are typically asked to identify distorted letters as depicted in an image, although a variety of other approaches – including pictures of cats and calculus puzzles – have been applied to the problem.

Cybercrooks have responded to the challenge by devising techniques to circumvent controls, for example by creating ready-to-spam webmail accounts from established providers that are less likely to be blocked by basic anti-spam filters.

Sign-up for new accounts can be automated, but solving the CAPTCHA puzzles themselves is normally farmed out to the human cogs in 21st century sweatshops, often based in India, where worker drones are paid as little as $4 a day to defeat security checks. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.