CAPTCHA the Flag

The increasing dfficulty of CAPTCHAs is starting to worry me. There are times now, with some of the more recent and unreadable ones, when I simply cannot distinguish, say, a lower-case “c” from a lower-case “e”. I recognize that it might be necessary to keep moving as older and simpler systems fail, and that it makes sense to seek out higher and more obfuscated ground, but stil. In this arms race, the CAPTCHAs and the automated CAPTCHA readers are both getting more sophisticated, but we puny humans are stuck with the same text-recognition skills we’ve already got. Isn’t the end-state of this process a set of CAPTCHAs that can only be read by machines?

Check out the captcha recently featured at The Daily WTF. Search the linked page for ‘captcha’. It’s a bit much, perhaps.