Spammers to Face Video CAPTCHA Technology

NuCaptcha is using video to make it harder for spam operations to crack CAPTCHA protections on Websites.

A company is launching video CAPTCHA technology designed to make spammers' lives more difficult.

NuCaptcha is offering a fresh approach to blogs and other Websites trying to verify that information is being entered by humans, not computers. The platform uses video technology and animation to make CAPTCHAs easier for humans to solve, yet harder for machines to decipher, as, the company said in a news release June 30, "Motion in video is very hard for computers to read, yet extremely easy for humans." In addition, "The NuCaptcha Platform utilizes behavioral intelligence to deliver very easy CAPTCHAs to legitimate users and increasingly CAPTCHAs to attackers."

Typically, CAPTCHAs are transcription-based, and often require users to enter text distorted by squiggly letters. The idea is to prevent spammers from automating log-ins to Websites and services such as Microsoft Hotmail and Yahoo. During the past few years, spammers have enjoyed a fair amount of success in taking down CAPTCHA services, employing both software and crews of humans to circumvent the technology.

"Spammers use human farms to solve CAPTCHAs for them," said Greg Mori, an adviser to NuCaptcha. "These human farms pay laborers roughly 50 cents per hour to solve CAPTCHAs. The laborers are solving CAPTCHAs at the rate of one every 4 seconds."

Mori continued, "NuCaptcha can serve longer-duration videos ([for example] 40 seconds long) to these people, decreasing their productivity. This in turn drives up their costs. For example, if they can only solve one CAPTCHA every 40 seconds, the cost for spammers [of breaking] CAPTCHAs could go up tenfold."

NuCaptcha Basic is a "free product for Websites and blogs" that "provides up to 25,000 CAPTCHAs per month," the company said.

"We're tremendously excited about this opportunity: We believe that video has the potential to revolutionize CAPTCHAs," Michel Giasson, co-founder and CEO of NuCaptcha, said in a statement. "With prolific use of video and multimedia all over the Web, the timing is perfect to introduce this new form of CAPTCHA, which we believe will add tremendous value to sites through increased engagement and branding."