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CNET reports that NuCaptcha can be defeated

Declan McCullagh over at CNET is reporting that Stanford University researchers have figured out a way to defeat NuCaptcha’s “are you a human” challenge, 90% of the time.

NuCaptcha was launched in 2010 as an alternative to reCAPTCHA and other security products designed to make sure that a human being — not a computer — is filling out a form. NUCaptcha, which uses moving text against a moving  background, is a lot easier for humans to read but apparently, according to the researchers, it’s also pretty easy for a computer to fool. Scroll down to watch a promotional video on what NuCaptcha looks like in action.

A CAPCTHA, which stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Completely Apart) is a test of sorts that helps the site or service operator know a person is actually accessing the site. They are designed to prevent automated systems form sending email, signing up for services or performing other computer related tasks. Catpchas are one way to help cut down on spam and computer generated fraud. Personally, I find them annoying because, frequently, I can’t figure them out.

A typical CAPTCHA from

A CAPTCHA that crowds symbols together (image from Wikipedia)

An easy way to understand how NuCaptcha works is to watch this short video.

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