Google is about to launch a new “CAPTCHA” widget – the NoCAPTCHA. The new Captcha will only require a simple tick on an “I’m not a robot” checkbox to prove that you are human.
Current Captchas are security tools showing distorted or blurred text that help a site distinguish between human users and robots. CAPTCHA means Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. Google has been using Captchas because malicious software, such as spambots or infected scripts, couldn’t read text messages.
Still, earlier this year, Google Maps Team said it designed a special algorithm that was able to recognize characters and street signs in blurred images with a 99,8 percent accuracy. The news was great for Google Maps, but not for Google on-line security division. This meant spambots could crack old Captchas with a 99,8 percent accuracy as well.
Google reassured its users that old Captchas weren’t at risk. On February this year, Google showed the world how its new “advanced risk analysis” system made even non-distorted Captchas unbreakable. The system seems to work on statistical information about human users, but Google security didn’t give any further details. One of this information may be how a human user moves the mouse on screen before solving a Captcha.
So, Google’s new Captcha will only require a simple click, but they are backed up by cutting-edge technology.
“For most users, this dramatically simplifies the experience. They basically get a free pass. You can solve the catptcha without having to solve it,”
Vinay Shet, member of the Google’s Captcha team, said.
Shet also says that Google would read IP addresses and cookies data to see if users checking a NoCaptcha box are human or not. Furthermore, mouse movements would also provide useful information, Shet says. But there are many other features that Google doesn’t unveil to prevent hackers from improving their spambots.
However, if the user is suspected to be non-human, after the checkbox test will come other two tests – a pop-up window with distorted text on it, or image recognition tasks for mobile device users, such as the image of a turkey to be matched with several images containing other turkeys.
Despite all this, Google said that these tests were very rare, since new Captchas were able to distinguish a human from a robot at a 60 to 80 percent rate.
Some users still may complain that Goolge now fishes their on-line information for security reasons. Vinay Shet explained that Google would track only the user’s movements made over the captcha, not over the whole page, website or search engine.
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