Can Captcha be Hacked (How to Protect it)

can Captcha be hacked
Can Captcha be Hacked

Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart also abbreviated as Captcha is a type of security measure that is implemented on most websites today to protect them from bots, as well as some major cyber-attacks. Moreover, if we consider stats, then at least 6,024,196 websites on the internet are using Google’s advanced Captcha tool known as “reCaptcha.” However, there has always been a debate over the Captcha system, where people and even website owners have questioned its legitimacy against hackers. So, can Captcha be hacked?

Let’s try to find out!


Can Captcha be hacked?

Yes, Captcha can be hacked by hackers using a few of the methods including automated bots, browser extensions, captcha solving services, and image recognition technology like OCR.

Further mentioning, in April 2021, Avanan researchers wrote about how hackers abused Google’s reCaptcha to steal victims’ credentials by using reCaptcha form sent from legitimate domains to fool the scanners, and then entering the victim’s inbox. After that, when the user accesses the content, it asks for credentials to open the PDF, which finally allows the hacker to get hold of your credentials. Moreover, hackers can use the audio reCaptcha option to target the Captcha by downloading the file, and then decoding it with the help of voice recognition tools.

How to be cautious when hackers abuse Google’s reCaptcha service?

So, after going through the research that was penned down by Avanan, it is clear that these types of attacks are easily executable as scanners allow Captcha’s to pass through easily.

Therefore, experts have suggested some of the preventive measures to be followed while dealing with such scams, and they are:

  • A user should always check the URL before filling out the Captcha forms.
  • Ask the sender why the attached PDF file is password protected.
  • Lastly, ask the sender if he has faxed the documents from the office. But if they are working from home, then there are high chances that they haven’t sent the file.

Is there any strong reCaptcha alternative?

After Jason Polakis, assistant professor in computer science at the University of Illinois was successful in cracking reCAPTCHA v2, many users got eager to get a strong alternative. And that’s where reCAPTCHA v3 came into the picture. This technology was fully automatic and didn’t require any kind of clicking on the “I am not a robot” box or solving Captcha challenges. Moreover, it also takes your browser cache as well as Google account into consideration, to determine whether the user is a human or a bot. 

Thus, making it easier for a website owner to protect and secure his/her site from dangerous bots as well as cyber-attacks like DDOS.

What are the other solutions that can be used to stop hackers?

If you are running a business website and want to protect your site from hackers, then you can follow these simple solutions that are mentioned below.

Use Biometrics:

This is the first solution that I can suggest to you if you want to protect Captcha from getting hacked, as you can ask your users to verify if they are human or not by giving out secondary confirmation using their phone’s fingerprint scanner.

You can also try implementing other kinds of biometric solutions like typing biometrics, facial recognition, and speech recognition.

Use multi-factor authentication:

Another alternative to prevent Captcha from getting hacked is by using multi-factor authentication which cross-verifies the user for a second time by sending a code through text message on their mobile phone, which needs to be entered in order to access the website.

Use Ad-Fraud solution:

Lastly, you can try using Ad-Fraud tools that can help you detect fraud with precision via a robust fine-tuned solution.

For example, Anura Ad Fraud solution.

How many types of Captcha tests are available currently?

There are currently 6 types of Captcha tests available in the market.

  • Classic Text Captcha.
  • Text-Image Captcha.
  • Image Captcha.
  • Audio Captcha.
  • Math Captcha.
  • Invisible Captcha.

Final Remarks on “Can Captcha be hacked?”

There is no doubt that Captcha challenges are one of the most popular and used security tools to protect websites from bots and harmful cyberattacks. But, with the growth of advanced technology, hackers can now easily target these soldiers by developing bots or fully integrated AI programs that can understand the each-and-every aspect of Captcha tests, and help them bypass or hack Captcha with just a click. Therefore, if you are a website holder and are willing to keep your websites safe and sound from these predators, then I suggest you follow the guide and implement the solutions accordingly.