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Captchas May be a Waste of Time

Everybody knows the little pictures with numbers and letters on websites that need you to read what they say then type in the letters and numbers seen in them, and boy can they be annoying…that aside, are they really doing what they were intended to do successfully?

A new study finds “Captchas” (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart), are at least on most websites, not well designed or even functional at all.  Captchas are supposed to be put in place to prevent bots from accessing certain parts of websites by making it physically read the text within the picture and input it to allow further access. Unfortunately only two websites tested were not able to be decoded with the proper setup. Both Google and Recaptcha’s captchas were found to be not decodable by a bot. What were other some of the other contenders rankings? Well, some of the major ones that were easily decoded were, Blizzard which was decoded 75% of the time, eBay which was decoded 95% of the time, and Baidu which was decoded 98% of the time.

Though it’s amazing how easily many of these companies captchas were decoded, one thing is for certain, more rigorous testing needs to take place by organizations implementing them to ensure they are doing what they need them to do.

If you would like to read more about the study click here.