Friday, March 6


Background :- :- 

        The need for CAPTCHAs rose to keep out the website/Search Engine abuse by bots. In 1997, AltaVista sought ways to block and discourage the automatic submissions of URLs into their search engines. Andrei Broder, Chief Scientist of AltaVista, and his colleagues developed a filter. Their method was to generate a printed text randomly that only humans could read and not machine readers. Their approach was so effective that in an year, “spam-add-ons’” were reduced by 95% and a patent was issued in 2001.


We introduce CAPTCHA, an automated test that humans can pass, but current computer programs can't pass: any program that has high success over a captcha can be used to solve an unsolved Artifcial Intelligence (AI) problem. We provide several novel constructions of captchas. Since captchas have many applications in practical security, our approach introduces a new class of hard problems that can be exploited for security purposes. Much like research in Cryptography has had a positive impact on algorithms for factoring and discrete log, we hope that the use of hard AI problems for security purposes allows us to advance the field of Artifcial Intelligence. We introduce two families of AI problems that can be used to construct captchas and we show that solutions to such problems can be used for steganographic communication. Captchas based on these AI problem families, then, imply a win-win situation: either the problems remain unsolved and there is always to differentiate humans from computers, or the problems are solved and there is a way to Communicate covertly on some channels.

Types of CAPTCHAs

1. Text CAPTCHAs
1.1 Gimpy
1.2 Ez – Gimpy
1.3 BaffleText
1.4 MSN Captcha
2. Graphic CAPTCHAs


        Recent research is suggesting that Google's audio capture is the latest in a string of CAPTCHA's to have been defeated by software. t has been theorized that one cost-effective means of breaking audio captures and image captures that have not yet had automated systems developed is to use a mechanical turk and pay low rates for per-CAPTCHA reading by humans, or provide another form of motivation such as access to popular sites for reading the CAPTCHA. However, it always required a significant level of resources to achieve. The development of software to automatically interpret CAPTCHAs brings up a number of problems for site operators. The problem, as discovered by Wintercore Labs and published at the start of March is that there are repeatable patterns evident in the audio file and by applying a set of complex but straight forward processes, a library can be built of the basic signal for each possible character that can appear in the CAPTCHA. Wintercore point to other audio CAPTCHAs that could be easily reversed using this technique, including the one for Facebook. The wider impact of this work might take some time to appear, but it provides an interesting proof of breaking audio CAPTCHAs. At the least, it shows that both of Google's CAPTCHA tools have now been defeated by software and it should only be a matter of time until the same can be said for Microsoft and Yahoo!'s offerings. Even with an effectiveness of only 90%, any failed CAPTCHA can easily be reloaded for a second try.

Captcha Seminar Topics


        Gimpy is a very reliable text CAPTCHA built by CMU in collaboration with Yahoo for their Messenger service. Gimpy is based on the human ability to read extremely distorted text and the inability of computer programs to do the same. Gimpy works by choosing ten words randomly from a dictionary, and displaying them in a distorted and overlapped manner. Gimpy then asks the users to enter a subset of the words in the image. The human user is capable of identifying the words correctly, whereas a computer program cannot.


1.     The CAPTCHA image (or question) is generated. There are different ways to do this. The classic approach is to generate some random text, apply some random effects to it and convert it into an image.

2.     Step 2 is not really sequential. During step 1, the original text (pre-altered) is persisted somewhere, as this is the correct answer to the question. There are different ways to persist the answer, as a server-side session variable, cookie, file, or database entry.

3.     The generated CAPTCHA is presented to the user, who is prompted to answer it.


It’s believed that the fields of cryptography and artificial intelligence have much to contribute to one another. Captchas represent a small example of this possible symbiosis. Reductions, as they are used in Cryptography, can be extremely useful for the progress of algorithmic development. So, security researchers to create captchas based on different AI problems must be encouraged.


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