Posted October 30, 2007 5:23 pm by with 12 comments

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Talk about creative workarounds. Spammers have found a way to crack captchas so they can steal your email address. As if the vice of spamming isn’t bad enough, they are using a virtual stripper named Melissa to get real people to unwittingly participate in their evil craft.

They created a game that is delivered via malware that is installed on your computer. When you launch Internet Explorer you are introduced to a game. In the game players are shown captchas (text embedded in an image), which are intended to stop computers from signing up for accounts like free email addresses. Each time they fill one out then a virtual woman takes off more of her clothes. Then spammers get their way and you get more junk mail.

I didn’t know what Captchas stood for until now but here it is (in case you need it for your next trivia game): “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.”

So far the program has been used on the sign-up process for Yahoo webmail. It builds in a reward system rather than just hoping people will respond to a request to type in the letters.

Two security firms, Trend Micro and Panda Security have discovered the tactic but note that it’s not widespread. The program runs on Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, and Server 2003. To avoid contact, run anti-virus and anti-spyware program updates. The technology to block spam has been working for the past six years.

  • It’s interesting that Google does something similar. OK, not spam, but still they turned work into a game that helps them:

  • Man! Spammers are that creative!!

    Didn’t know what the thingies (text embedded in an image) were called, now i know they are called ‘captchas’ also what the term stands for. The sum of my knowledge is increased today!

  • This is an old trick but sexy woman is something new 🙂

  • This is priceless information and I am spreading the word around as much as I can. Thanks for this.

  • Human makes human suffer. Nowadays people are really nuts if you think it calmly. They create Protection and somebody crack it. They increase the technology of protection and so do the cracker. It’s a never-ending story for the life-time. 🙂

  • Dean

    The funny thing is that people actually respond to the spam. If they wouldn’t, spam would go away. I want to meet the people who actually click on this junk.

    Having said that, I have always thought that spammers and porn slingers are the most creative/ingenious people on the Internet…in part because they have to be.

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  • thats not a new strategy at varient that I read about a few years ago and have used is to use captchas on a porn site. The captcha’s though are just copied from what ever site you want to log in to. So users get their porn and you get your captchas solved. WIN! WIN!

  • You know what they say “we keep making things idiot proof but then they keep making better idiots” 🙂

  • Zen

    Spammers are getting slicker every day, but we can still fight them off! I don’t know if the developers are smarter, but they definitely out number them! 😀

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