MUMBAI, India — Faced with stricter Internet security measures, some spammers have begun borrowing a page from corporate America’s playbook: they are outsourcing. Sophisticated spammers are paying people in India, Bangladesh, China and other developing countries to tackle the simple tests known as captchas, which ask Web users to type in a string of semiobscured characters to prove they are human beings and not spam-generating robots. The going rate for the work ranges from 80 cents to $1.20 for each 1,000 deciphered boxes, according to online exchanges like Freelancer.com, where dozens of such projects are bid on every week.
On a related note, we haven’t a single spam since we rolled our new resistor solving CAPTCHA and colorblind readers / commenters report it all works fine for them 🙂
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I can’t remember where I read this (Wired perhaps), but there was a spammer that was also running a pr0n site. As the spam script was running, it would pull captcha images from blogs that it was trying to spam. It would post these captchas to the entrance of the pr0n site. People who went to the diry pics site would solve the captcha to gain access. The spam script would then take their answer and use it to finish the captcha on the blog site. Despicable, but ingenious none the less.