Thursday, October 11, 2007

AI bots taking over the Internet

In science fiction AI is often seen as an upcoming power trying to overthrow human authority, usually in the form of humanoid robots. There might be a lot of time left until our world will look like in the Matrix, but let's take a look at what bots are already doing on the Internet (which can be for some people even more important than the real life).

Ingredients needed:

1) A programmer
2) Captcha recognition - A CAPTCHA is a program that can generate and
grade tests that:
* Most humans can pass, BUT
* Current computer programs can't pass


Some captchas are weak, can be easily passed by computer
programs, and the most important: EVEN THE MOST COMPLICATED CAPTCHAS CAN BE MASS RECOGNIZED USING CHINESE METHOD (which means simply hiring a couple of people to type in captchas all day long)

3) A couple of compromised computers or a list of open proxies/winsocks

...and you get this:

* mass forum spams
* blog comments spam
* contact forms spam
* email spam is too old to mention and it does not even require captcha recognition, however it can now extend to new levels because you will get spammed from yahoo/gmail/hotmail legitimate accounts, no longer just with fake headers

Basically any form of free registering account can now be abused.

You'll say that's why there are forum moderators. But what a moderator can do when you get 1000 new threads/hour from usernames made from different IP addresses? I guess all they can do is to turn off new user registration.

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