Customer Relationship Management News NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home CRM Systems Customer Service Contact Centers Business Intelligence More Topics...
Advertisement
Free Gartner Report:
Drive innovation & collaboration
with the "Everyone's IT" approach.

View the research report
Network Security
Is your endpoint data protected?
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Google's Street View Unitentionally Unravels CAPTCHAs

Google's Street View Unitentionally Unravels CAPTCHAs
By Barry Levine

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

CAPTCHAs have been used for longer than a decade to prevent automated software from conducting transactions on Web sites, but Google says the Street View technology can decipher the "hardest distorted text puzzles" with more than 99 percent accuracy -- outperforming humans doing the same CAPTCHA task.
 

CAPTCHAs, those visual jumbles of numbers and letters, have been used to separate the humans from the bots because software couldn't read visuals all that well. Now, Google has created software for its Street View cars to read street numbers in its images -- and may have overturned the value of CAPTCHAs in the process.

In a post Wednesday on the Google Online Security Blog, the company's reCAPTCHA Product Manager Vinay Shet noted that the technology finds and reads street numbers in Street View imagery, and then correlates those numbers with existing addresses so that they can be shown on Google Maps. The software has been described in a scientific paper presented at the International Conference on Learning Representations 2014. It is able to detect and read difficult numbers with a 90 percent accuracy, which can reach 96 percent in some cases.

Street View obviously needs such rigorous software if the millions of recorded street addresses are going to be available through Google Maps without manual tagging. Weather conditions, varying quality in street numbers and signs, and lighting conditions also add to the difficulty of the problem.

99 Percent Accuracy

To accomplish this task, Google brings together the three main components of such visual interpretation -- localization, segmentation and recognition -- through the use of a neural network that is optimized for image recognition.

CAPTCHAs have been used for longer than a decade to prevent automated software from conducting transactions on Web sites, but Shet says the Street View technology can decipher the "hardest distorted text puzzles" with more than 99 percent accuracy.

In fact, according to various anecdotal reports on the Web, this accuracy rate is now far higher than what many humans can achieve in trying to figure out the distorted and twisted text. And, since accurately reading street numbers is a frustrating task for any carbon-based lifeform, Google's technology is likely outperforming humandom there as well.

ReCAPTCHA is a free service from Google to keep automated software agents out of Web sites. The solved text or deciphered images have also been used to help digitize hard-to-solve text, to annotate images or to build machine learning datasets, as humans correctly deciphered parts of old texts that standard optical character recognition software could not.

'Advanced Risk Analysis'

Google's reCAPTCHA department apparently knew where the Street View department was heading, so last year the company announced reCAPTCHAs would reduce their reliance on text distortions to tell humans from bots.

In October, Google said that reCAPTCHA was updated to use "advanced risk analysis techniques, actively considering the user's entire engagement with the CAPTCHA -- before, during and after they interact with it."

To accomplish that, different classes of CAPTCHAs were released for different kinds of users. More details were promised in the next few months. At the moment, however, how Google tells which of us are real and which of us are algorithms is a dark secret, probably kept in the same box as its search engine ranking routine.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.


 Network Security
1.   Gmail Hackable by Android Apps
2.   UPS Stores Hit by Data Breach
3.   Target Data Breach Cost: $148 Million
4.   Aruba Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
5.   Chinese Hackers Steal Patient Data


advertisement
UPS Stores Hit by Data Breach
Biz must adopt better security measures.
Average Rating:
Target Data Breach Cost: $148 Million
Better customer data protection needed.
Average Rating:
FBI Cybersquad To Add Agents
Rewarded for recent security successes.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Find Malicious Android Apps Can Hack Gmail
A new study shows that a weakness in the Android mobile operating system can be used to steal sensitive, personal info from unwitting users. Gmail proved to be the easiest app to attack; Amazon, the hardest.
 
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
With businesses wanting computing solutions that do more for less money, Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that it says offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Screen Shortage Briefly Puts Brakes on iPhone 6
RAM? Check. Antenna switch? Check. Screen? Oops. Parts suppliers for Apple have found themselves facing a shortage of screens for the new iPhone 6 as next month's release date for the new smartphone looms.
 
Bounty Offered to Coders for Oculus Rift Bugs
Coders who find bugs in software for the Oculus Rift VR immersive headset could receive a reward of at least $500 under Facebook's White Hat bounty program. Facebook acquired Oculus in March.
 
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Contact Centers | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Customer Data | CRM Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.