Captcha systems, those psychedelic-font phrases designed to weed out bots from users, are a staple of website security. And, thanks to Stanford Researchers, they may be quickly becoming completely useless.
The researchers employed machine vision algorithms to successfully crack 66 per cent of Visa's Captchas, 70 per cent of Blizzard's, and 25 per cent of Wikipedia's. For reference, a one per cent successful cracking rate is regarded as grounds for the Captcha's immediate discontinuation. Only one company's system, Google's ReCaptcha, was able to confound the researchers' robotic eyes—presumably because the vision algorithms still aren't advanced enough to handle ReCaptcha's blurring effects — but how long will that advantage last?
So, since it's only a matter of time before A) researchers figure out how to break all of these systems, including Google's, consistently and B) the technology hits the Internet and we're inundated with bot advertising, does anybody have ideas for the next generation of bot filtration technology? Is the time for widespread biometric scanner use finally upon us? [Maximum PC]