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August 30, 2008

ZDNet takes a look at the CAPTCHA economy in India

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Many of us use CAPTCHA technology for preventing comment spam, registration spam on forums, or for other spam blocking mechanisms on email and other online tools.

Did you know there was an entire underground economy operating in the world focused on defeating those CAPTCHA blocks?

ZDNet takes a look inside the India version of that economy:

Let’s analyze the shady data processing economy of India, discuss exclusive photos of Indian workers breaking MySpace and Google CAPTCHAs, and take a tour inside the web applications of several Bangladesh based franchises, whose team of almost 1,000 international workers is actively soliciting deals for breaking Craigslist, Gmail, Yahoo, MySpace, YouTube and Facebook’s CAPTCHA, promising to deliver 250k solved CAPTCHAs per day on a “$2 for a 1000 solved CAPTCHAs” rate.

The story goes on to examine a few different “de-CAPTCHA” firms and has pictures of the workers and links to their websites.

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