The Internet is an integral part of our day-to-day life, many of us visit a number of websites daily. And, we often end up on websites that can not identify if we are a human. So, to prove we are human, websites on the Internet then ask us to tap on certain boxes in the image, or write a similar captcha in the box or just simply check a box that reads “I’m not Robot” etc.
CAPTCHA stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers & Humans Apart”. These tests confirm whether a website is being used by a human being rather than a malicious bot intent on hacking or spamming. CAPTCHA was created at the advancement of technology, & the term was coined in the year 2003.
Initially, CAPTCHAs were simple text-based, which were later replaced by objects-in- pictures as AI intelligence was advancing. AI advancing refers to people being able to generate BOTS that could pass this human verification CAPTCHA test; so, this resulted in more difficult CAPTCHA codes. You may have heard of the company Cloudflare, for those who are unaware; Cloudflare is the DNS service provider that works for most of the website & also tell you about the possible security reasons why you or your device can’t connect to a particular website.
Meanwhile CAPTCHA does improve the online security system, but let’s be honest this whole process of verification is really annoying & most people would like to keep it at bay. If you are also tired of this verification process, then Cloudflare has announced some good news for you!
Cloudflare wants to change the way we, humans, prove that we are not robots.
Earlier Cloudflare stated “CAPTCHAs are effectively businesses putting friction in front of their users, and as anyone who has managed a high-performing online business will tell you, it’s not something you want to do unless you have no choice,” in a blog post.
Now, the big question: what is going to replace CAPTCHAs?
What will replace CAPTCHAs?
Cloudflare also mentioned that they want to replace the CAPTCHA verification system with something new & different. Something that would require humans to pass a verification test simply by either touching or looking at their devices! Now this sounds amazing.
As per reports this new verification system will be called Cryptographic Attestation of Personhood. Unlike the CAPTCHA, this system will involve a certain hardware partner i.e., a physical device, such as YubiKeys.
And, to raise a better understanding of Cryptographic Attestation of Personhood, Cloudflare has even put up a website i.e., securityexample.com; it allows you to test your physical device with a security key right away.
An example of how the Cryptographic Attestation of Personhood would work is as follows:
- securityexample.com, for example, is a website protected by Cryptographic Attestation of Personhood and users try to access it.
- This is where Cloudflare comes in.
- Clicking “I’m human” prompts the user to enter a security code.
- In this case, the user wants to select a Hardware Security Key.
- This device can be plugged into a computer or tapped into a phone via NFC for wireless signature.
- An encrypted attestation is sent to Cloudflare, allowing the user to proceed after verification.
Problems with CAPTCHA verification system:
When we said that CAPTCHA were tiring & annoying to be put up with, we weren’t referring to those hard-to-read codes or floating letters only. CAPTCHAs were really complicated, most of the time they asked us to locate something we have never seen, for example a fire hydrant, which is mostly found in American countries, something that is rare to find in India; let alone verifying it.
Additionally, it can be time consuming, remember that CAPTCHA that you failed because you didn’t see the traffic light on its own box, or couldn’t tell whether the capitalization was right or wrong. According to Cloudflare, an average person takes as much as 32 seconds to complete a single CAPTCHA test, which if multiplied with the actual number of internet users around the globe; which is 4.6 billion sums up to 500 years of humankind.
In layman language, 500 years of humankind are spent everyday on CAPTCHAs.
Another problem with CAPTCHA is that most internet users in India access the internet through their mobiles instead of desktop, and a small screen makes CAPTCHA challenge even more tough!
Even so, Cloudflare’s new solution requires an extra piece of hardware device which might cost you a buck or two, but it makes a lot of sense and is really time saving. Well, on the other hand CAPTCHA verification system is cost effective, but it costs us our time & can be cumbersome.