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CAPTCHA - beta testing

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  • CAPTCHA - beta testing

    If anyone is in the mood, I could use some beta testing on a CAPTCHA module I just wrote. It's at the following address:

    http://books.alphatogohost.com/captcha_test.a5w

    I included some information about CAPTCHA and put the function parameters in to a dialog so you can see the effect of each parameter.

    Looking to see if it breaks under testing and any comments generally about usefulness as implemented.
    Steve Wood
    Join the ALPHA DEVELOPERS NETWORK
    There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
    Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
    AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)

  • #2
    Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

    I get:

    Errors in: event.Activate code:
    Variable is of different type

    Just above the Functions Parm Panel

    no image
    properties are:

    http://books.alphatogohost.com/sessi...ptchaimage.jpg

    Peter
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein, (attributed)
    US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

      Fixed, although you may need to delete the cookie or clear cache for it to work.

      I had shifted security from "Expires when user closes browser" to "Defined time...". The latter method does not create a session folder on the server, and that is where the captcha image was attempting to being stored.

      I was unaware that the two "defined time..." login expiration methods do not create a session folder; so I will have to play with that.

      EDIT - Correction. Using "Defined time.." login expiration policy DOES create a session folder. Apparently I had a different problem where the entire server was not creating any session folders. Restarting the server fixed that, not sure what was the cause.

      On the CAPTCHA, I notice that with IE it does not always create a new image. Firefox appears to work perfectly (and a lot faster). This will be fixed once I implement AJAX.
      Last edited by Steve Wood; 07-28-2008, 08:32 PM. Reason: session folder correction
      Steve Wood
      Join the ALPHA DEVELOPERS NETWORK
      There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
      Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
      AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)

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      • #4
        Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

        That is very nice stuff Steve.
        -Steve
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

          I didn't find anything faulty Steve. To make it more effective, besides the rotation you mentioned on the webpage, would be to have more overlap or at least more of the alpha/numeric characters touch each other.

          Another thought, and have not as yet seen this done by other sites, is to instruct users to only input every-other, every-third, first 4 characters, or etc. maybe as options, random, or just hardcoded to make it harder for bots....could very well be overkill and some users may not like such "mind work" !! :)
          Mike
          __________________________________________
          It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
          It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
          Henry David Thoreau
          __________________________________________



          Comment


          • #6
            Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

            Making them overlap is an easy adjustment, but you have to ensure they don't overlap too much, and that take playing with the formula. I could even guarantee a random two or three always overlapped.

            Some systems draw a jagged line down the middle of the text effectively "joining them". I can do that and probably rotate the characters too, but there is a diminishing return going forward. Rotating would take some time because you don't rotate the text, you rotate the image upon which the text has been placed. So I'd have to do that for each character in turn, and still make sure they ended up enough in a row that a human could read them.

            Aside from actually building something useful, it's all quite interesting what can be created using Alpha. I would have never thought such a oddball item as this CAPTCHA could be built using standard functions.

            Most of this type of spam is created by bots looking for unprotected forms that send email. If the form has any type of defense, the bot has to do extra work to break in. If the defense is non-repeating (the idea behind CAPTCHA), it's much more difficult.

            Believe it or not, there is a CAPTHA breaking hacking method called "relay" where the image is sent to a human, who 'cracks' it (by just looking at it), enters the key, and the bot continues to send the spam email. Even though our message board has a verification system it too gets 'cracked' once in a while and we get spam.

            Other verification systems we've all seen are:

            - asking the user to solve a simple math problem
            - asking the user to just type in NOSPAM in a box
            - asking the user to identify a simple animal picture, like "cow"

            This article does a good job of explaining the pros and cons:

            http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000712.html
            Steve Wood
            Join the ALPHA DEVELOPERS NETWORK
            There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
            Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
            AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)

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            • #7
              Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

              Steve,
              The refresh is not working for me. The hint changes but the image remains the same. The images all seem quite readable to me.
              Mike W
              __________________________
              "I rebel in at least small things to express to the world that I have not completely surrendered"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

                Thanks - it seems to work perfectly, and then not for a period. I am sure it is either because a) the dialog is refreshing before the code finishes creating the new image, b) some function is not thread safe or c) browser is caching the old image. Most likely is is the last item, which I can easliy remedy.
                Steve Wood
                Join the ALPHA DEVELOPERS NETWORK
                There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
                Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
                AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

                  Steve,

                  The refresh problem is when using Internet Explorer.
                  Mike
                  __________________________________________
                  It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
                  It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
                  Henry David Thoreau
                  __________________________________________



                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

                    Additional Suggestion ... include Upper and Lower case at same time - plus numerics ... assuming the A5 logic is using Case Sensitive.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

                      That's great work - I would not get carries away with the background though, the honeycomd style meakes it impossible to read.

                      If I refresh with the browser button image refrehes, if I use the button it remains while the password changes.

                      IE7.

                      Again geat idea - look forward to ordering. Peter

                      Works fine with Firefox and Safari
                      Last edited by peteconway; 07-29-2008, 10:21 PM.
                      Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
                      Albert Einstein, (attributed)
                      US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

                        Steve,

                        For what it is worth, I clipped the image with a screen capture and ran it through an old copy of OmniPage. Without making any refining adjustments, it almost read it correctly - missed the last letter. Didn't have time to try others, but if I could get that close with out trying, I wonder how well someone could do if they were.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

                          There is a discussion of effectiveness in the document I referenced on an earlier post. Before I release the product I will deploy more of the author's methods in that article. Background refinement, multiple fonts and font perturbation are three of those.

                          Here are some quotes from that article. Keep in mind that almost all CAPTCHA can be defeated using OCR or vision techniques (reference).

                          The real secret to CAPTCHA is that it hits spammers where they are most vulnerable: in the pocketbook. The minute you put up a computational barrier, the entire economic model of spam comes crashing down.

                          Some people actually believe that spammers can now "fairly easily" write scripts which use advanced optical character recognition to automatically defeat any online CAPTCHA form.

                          Although there have been a number of CAPTCHA-defeating proof of concepts published, there is no practical evidence that these exploits are actually working in the real world. And if CAPTCHA is so thoroughly defeated, why is it still in use on virtually every major website on the internet? Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, you name it, if the site is even remotely popular, their new account forms are protected by CAPTCHAs.
                          Steve Wood
                          Join the ALPHA DEVELOPERS NETWORK
                          There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
                          Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
                          AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

                            Agreed.
                            Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
                            Albert Einstein, (attributed)
                            US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: CAPTCHA - beta testing

                              No refresh at all using Opera 9.5.
                              Jim

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