A CAPTCHA is that obfuscated or skewed image that a website asks you to type to attempt to verify that you’re a human. CAPTCHA actually stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”. Since many programs hackers use are quite simple, they get a little stumped because they can’t interpret the picture.
Unfortunately, that’s changing. For one, anyone can hire out the work of solving CAPTCHAs (or “reward” their efforts in, ahem, other ways). Plus, about a year ago, Vicarious, Inc. released the video seen below of their software easily cracking CAPTCHAs (and yes, they’ve not limited to Latin characters). Sometimes the software has an easier time than humans do.
So… what now?
We’ve been experimenting with several different options and had some success. We’ve significantly reduced the volume of comment and contact spam that gets through. But… there’s still more to do. There are a lot of companies working on alternatives, but not many that are robust and reliable enough just yet. One that we’re considering is PlayThru by Are You a Human (here’s a demo). You may see it soon on a few of our more oft targeted sites.