Spammers Will Pay You $1 to Crack This Code*

*Provided you do it 1,000 times
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2010 10:26 AM CDT
Spammers Will Pay You $1 to Crack This Code*
Spammers will pay people in India to bypass this simple precaution.   (

Captchas—those squiggly words you occasionally have to decipher on websites—can prove that you're not a spambot, but they can't prove you're not a teenager from India who's working for a spambot. Enterprising spammers are getting past the squiggly code the way any enterprising corporation would: They're outsourcing, the New York Times reports. Workers in China, Bangladesh, and elsewhere are paid between 80 cents and $1.20 per 1,000 codes they decipher.

That's not great pay, even in the developing world, but it's fine for college students; one 20-year-old in Bangladesh tells the Times he's got 30 students working for him to beat the captchas, drawing work from anonymous companies on the Internet. But Google says it's not worried; websites have lots of other security tools, and the mere fact that spammers have to pay people makes mass account creation less attractive. (More Internet security stories.)

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