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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Striptease used to beat Security

We all know looking at porn on the internet can be a risky affair, but scammers have recently put a new angle on such activities. In a new online striptease, a voluptuous blonde who promises to remove her slinky scraps of lingerie doesn't want your money. She's interested in your brain. Really. The creation of online scammers, she's trying to trick unsuspecting Internet users into helping the scammers break the online barriers that banks and e-mail services set up to thwart crooks.

The striptease is the latest attempt to defeat so-called CAPTCHA systems, Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. These safeguards require users to prove they are human by reading wavy, oddly shaped jumbles of letters and numbers that appear in an image and typing them out. In the new scam, an icon of an alluring woman suddenly appears on a Windows computer infected by a virus. After clicking on the icon, the user sees a photo of an attractive woman who vows to take off an article of clothing each time the jumble of figures next to her is entered. Much to the chagrin of victims, however, the woman never fully undresses, and after several passwords are entered the program restarts, possibly enticing unsuspecting users into trying again.