What’s the purpose of CAPTCHA technology and how does it work?
CAPTCHA technology has become a common aspect of online security. Its purpose is to prevent bots and automated scripts from accessing online services and harming users. CAPTCHA, which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, is a type of challenge-response test that determines whether a user is human or not.
The basic function of CAPTCHA technology is to differentiate between human and machine inputs. It uses a variety of tests to challenge a user’s ability to solve puzzles or answer questions. These include image recognition, audio recognition, and even mathematical calculations. In doing so, CAPTCHA can determine whether or not the input is coming from a human.
CAPTCHA technology is used to prevent a wide range of malicious activities, including spamming, credential stuffing, and brute force attacks. For example, bots can be used to automatically fill in forms with fake information, creating fake accounts or sending spam emails. CAPTCHA technology can help prevent this by making it difficult for bots to pass the tests.
The most widely used form of CAPTCHA is the image recognition test. In this test, the user is presented with an image that contains distorted or obscured text that is difficult for bots to read. The user must then type in the correct text to prove that they are human. To make this even more challenging, CAPTCHA creators often add background noise, lines, or other visual elements that make the text harder to read.
Another popular form of CAPTCHA is the audio recognition test. This works in a similar way to the image recognition test, but instead of presenting an image with text, it presents a spoken phrase that the user must repeat. This type of CAPTCHA is particularly useful for those who have visual impairments.
Finally, there are also mathematical CAPTCHA tests that require a user to solve a simple math problem. These are generally less common than image or audio recognition tests, but they are still effective at differentiating between humans and bots.