It’s been a staple of the Internet for years: having to type some vaguely coherent sounding phrase into a little box in order to heap verbal abuse on somebody who thinks “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” is the one with Khan in it.
And now, apparently, this vital check on spambots has been broken by some nerds at Stanford (Stanfnerds?).
The bot, which doesn’t work on reCaptcha, filters out the background noise and then divides the words into individual letters, which are much easier for something that wants to post ads for fake boner drugs made by organized crime syndicates to handle. It’s not super-effective all the time: Wikipedia only got cracked 25% of the time, although worryingly a site that belongs to a credit card company got cracked 66% of the time.
In short, expect reCaptcha to become a lot more popular. Which is good, because it helps expand human knowledge. Thanks, spammers! By annoying us you’ve made the world a better place. Sorta.
[ via the legitimate mass marketers at Geeks Are Sexy ]