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Snapchat’s Ghost-like CAPTCHA Not Up to the Job?

Snapchat's captcha system not up to the job of separating bots from real humans.

Snapchat’s captcha system not up to the job of separating bots from real humans.

Snapchat tries to be clever. We know that this company tries to stand out from the pack in how it issues apologies and how it issues data breaches. If you want to know what we are talking about do a search from our past post regarding its missteps on these fronts.

Snapchat really likes doing things differently. This applies to the kind of CAPTCHA it uses. CAPTCHAs are means for companies to determine whether a device accessing it is actually operated by flesh and blood human being or is a computer-driven robot. Many people would use CAPTCHA to generate accounts, to send spam, to launch attacks and all sorts of shady and unsavory activities. Systems ranging from emails, web-based emails and others routinely use CAPTCHA to prevent abuse. Snapchat is no different. However, Snapchat uses this ghost image to determine if you are a person or a machine. Well, it looks like Snapchat’s seemingly clever ghost blob-type CAPTCHA is not working out. According to a security expert, he was able to mimic Snapchat’s blob CAPTCHA system using a computer program. As a result, his computer program is able to guess the CAPTCHA correctly, 100% of the time.

It remains to be seen how well Snapchat will handle this embarrassment. This is big news. If people are able to compromise Snapchats CAPCHA system, then all sort of fake accounts and suspicious activity can play its system. Not good.