“Captchas” are used in an attempt to restrict certain online registrations and other interactions to real human beings, rather than automated robots. They’re a fairly controversial method that are supposed to reduce the amount of spam circulating the web, but are difficult or impossible for some humans to read, as well as adding another level of complexity to simple processes.
Spammers appear to have broken the captcha graphics used to sign up for Yahoo! and Hotmail email accounts, thus opening the gateway to sending huge amounts of spam from these fake accounts.
“There are only about 500 or so new accounts being created every hour. We’ve seen 15,000-plus Hotmail accounts being used so far. It’s hard to estimate how many spam emails have already been sent,” said BitDefender’s Viorel Canja.”
Captchas will either need to become much more obscure (and hence even more difficult for even humans to decipher), or other more effective methods of dealing with spam and automated account sign ups needs to be found.
(Via Web User)