Currently there are over 4000 spam comments that have been detected by WordPress over the the last couple of months on this blog alone. While that might sound good, more and more are slipping through as spammers are simply getting more creative in how they construct the comments.

That led me to remember a story I read about in 2007, where spammers came up with an amazingly innovative solution to beating Captcha forms. Porn!

From Network World:

A nifty little program that Trend Micro detects as TROJ_CAPTCHAR.A disguises itself as a strip-tease game, wherein a scantily clad “Melissa” agrees to take off a little bit of her clothing. However, for her to strut her stuff, users must identify the letters hidden within a CAPTCHA. Input the letters correctly, press “go,” and “Melissa” reveals more of herself.

However, the “answers” are then sent to a remote server, where a malicious user eagerly awaits them. The strip-tease game is actually a ploy by ingenious malware authors to identify and match ambiguous CAPTCHA images from legitimate sites, using the unsuspecting user as the decoder of the said image.

Even more interesting is that this idea was an evolution of another Captcha hack from 2004, which again used porn on a way of saving the explense of hiring cheap foreign labourers to break Captchas.

Spammers who don’t want to hire Chinese labor can set up “free” porno Web sites, where the cost of admission is solving a captcha every few minutes. The spammer then writes a program that goes to Hotmail, signs up for an account, gets a captcha, shows that test to the porn fiend, and supplies said fiend’s response to Hotmail. Problem solved!

I don’t discriminate against innovation, whethers it’s hackers, spammers or the porn industry, you’ve got to be able to appreciate how creative people get for finding solutions to problems.

More at Boing Boing