India's underground CAPTCHA-breaking economy

ZDNet's Dancho Danchev has a nice little investigative piece about the underground economy in cheapo Indian data-centers that break CAPTCHAs for spammers all day long:
Data processing as a mentality is visible in all the applications a human CAPTCHA solver is using. Basically, there’s no indication which service’s authentication model they’re currently abusing, CAPTCHA breaking is replaced with CAPTCHA solving making it look like it’s a some sort of a challenge that they have to solve.

Recruitment of the people that would be later tested for whether on not they quality for the job by exposing them to CAPTCHAs from different services, and a timer running in the background, is mainly done through advertisements like the following :

* easy work
* no learning needed
* no investment needed
* weekly payout
* work from home
* work when you want
* flexible working hours
* highest rates in the industry

Inside India’s CAPTCHA solving economy (via /.)


  1. They’re actually paying people to break captchas? Why don’t they just make porn sites and require captcha breaking for access to the images, like in that one story that I think I saw on BB this past year…

  2. CAPTCHAs annoys me to no end.

    Someone should make a plug-in to Firefox that works like this:

    Whenever you are met by a CAPTCHA, you right-click, and the plug-in sends the CAPTCHA to an Indian data-center, where it is solved and returned to the plug-in, ready to be pasted into the CAPTCHA-form.

    I would pay a dollar for just 100 CAPTCHAs, ten time what they make today.

  3. “Ultimately Captchas are useless for spam because they’re designed to tell you if someone is ‘human’ or not, but not whether something is spam or not. Just because something came from a real human being doesn’t mean it isn’t spam, which is why content-based solutions like Akismet are the only long-term solution to the spam problem.”

    – Matt Mullenweg

    via Guardian:

  4. The only machine test I trust is the Voight-Kampff. But I have to admit it is more time consuming than captcha.

  5. what about the gallows? Hang a few spam kings and be done with it. I still get a warm glow thinking about that Russian.

  6. I’m not sure how reading and typing amounts to “solving”. But why not bring these great jobs home?

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