Friday, August 29, 2008

Exposing India’s CAPTCHA Solving Economy

"Are you a Human?" - once asked the CAPTCHA, and the question got answered by, well, a human, thousands of them to be precise. Speculations around one of the main weaknesses of CAPTCHA based authentication in the face of human CAPTCHA solvers, seems to have evolved into a booming economy in India during the past 12 months, with thousands of people involved.

The following article - "Inside India’s CAPTCHA solving economy" aims to expose legitimate data entry workers, whose business models and techniques are in fact used by Russian cybercriminals not only for personal phishing, spamming and malware spreading purposes, but also, to resell the bogus accounts and earn a premium in the process :

"No CAPTCHA can survive a human that’s receiving financial incentives for solving it, and with an army of low-wagedIndia CAPTCHA breakers human CAPTCHA solvers officially in the business of “data processing” while earning a mere $2 for solving a thousand CAPTCHA’s, I’m already starting to see evidence of consolidation between India’s major CAPTCHA solving companies. The consolidation logically leading to increased bargaining power, is resulting in an international franchising model recruiting data processing workers empowered with do-it-yourself CAPTCHA syndication web based kits, API keys, and thousands of proxies to make their work easier, and the process more efficient."

Cybercrime is just as outsourceable as CAPTCHA breaking is these days.

UPDATE: Slashdot, BoingBoing, Ars Technica, and The Tech Herald picked up the story.

Related posts:
The Unbreakable CAPTCHA
Spam coming from free email providers increasing
Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail’s CAPTCHA broken by spammers
Microsoft’s CAPTCHA successfully broken
Vladuz's Ebay CAPTCHA Populator
Spammers and Phishers Breaking CAPTCHAs
DIY CAPTCHA Breaking Service
Which CAPTCHA Do You Want to Decode Today?

No comments:

Post a Comment