Thursday, May 06, 2004
Beating the Captchas
Few weeks ago, I wrote about captchas. Captchas are the little tests that Yahoo and other sites employ to verify that new mail accounts are being created by humans, not bots. Spammers like to use bots to create boatloads of free mail-sending accounts, leveraging the infrastructure paid for by Yahoo and other providers.
Well, no one ever said these spammers were stupid. Annoying and persistent, yes. Stupid, no. Here's a new method they're using to beat the captchas.
...To open an e-mail account, the applicant is asked to read the word in the Captcha graphic and type it into an application form. Because the disguised word is virtually impossible for a computer to read, spammers need a human to intervene, which ruins their automation process.
However, as first noted in the Boing Boing blog earlier this year, some spammers have found an ingenious way to bypass the Captcha protection.
First, the spammers open and advertise a Web site containing pornography. Visitors to the porn site are asked to enter the word contained in a Captcha graphic before they are granted access. In the background, spammers have already used scripts to automate the Web mail accounts opening process to the point where they need a human to 'read' the Captcha graphics. The Captcha graphics from the Web mail site are transferred to the porn site, where the porn consumers interpret the Captcha words. As soon as they enter the correct word, the script can complete its application process and the visitors are rewarded with free porn...
Whoaaa... did someone say free porn? ... ... ...I was kidding.
Porn gets spammers past Hotmail, Yahoo barriers
Dumber than a bag o' hammers
Frickin' ridiculous. Saw Survivor tonight. And, yes, Big Tom is definitely a few sandwiches shy of a picnic. Let's do the math, Tom:
Amber + Rob + Tom = No money for Tom
Rupert + Jenna + Tom = Possibility of money for Tom
Q: Tom, so why did you vote for Jenna and not Amber?
A: Ah starred en uh-liance wit Rob n ah nevah wuz gonna back out on nat. Ah cain't tolerate none of dat deception lahk what Rupert wuz gon' do. Nah, thazz not for me. Ah cain't hannle 'at one li'l bit. Ah ain't gonna blah blah blah... [unintelligible gibberish]
This is less a "Survivor All-Stars" and more a "Survivor Half-Wits". And the red-neck half-wits I know are all pissed-off at Tom. Apparently, he's giving them a bad name.
at 10:21 PM