With the recent failures with the captcha for gmail and other major mail service providers it has became apparent that captchas need to be improved. So I pondered on this for a while and a came up with the identify/captcha idea where you have the standard captcha but you also include a background image that has items the user has to identify. Here is a mockup of what I am talking about:
The background itself being something other then whitespace would trip up the bot makers for a while but the real kicker is the “What is in the picture?” bit. Having 6 check boxes gives 64 possible answers that’s a 1/64 chance of a bot guessing it right. If the bots get the text right 1/3 of the time then that is a 1/192 chance of the bot answering correctly. Sounds like a good odds to me.
Now let’s think about how to break this system (what the bot makers would think) well they could easily create a database of pictures and correct answers. So to foil that we will need a very large collection of pictures to make the DB unmanageable and we need to distort the pictures to make any hashing attempt fail. The rest is left as an exercise for the reader.
Now all is needed is for me to convince Google to start using this.