Naked Security

‘I’m not a robot’ verification test beaten by … a robot

It is not time to panic. This is not the end of internet verification checks to make sure we’re humans. This is not the final triumph of bots over bods.

This is just the tale of one robotic arm using a capacitive stylus to move a mouse on a stylus in that quivery, human-like manner that hopefully/sometimes assures online sites that we’re human.

The video was uploaded by YouTuber Matt Unsworth – about whom we know precious little besides the fact that he has access to googly eyes to put on top of his robot arm – last Tuesday.

The robot, clutching the stylus in its claw, ticks off the “I’m not a robot” button after some painfully slow scritching. Then, it opens its claw wide and lets loose the stylus in a perfect mic drop.

…A la our recently departed POTUS No. 44:

It well may be controlled by a human behind the scenes. If that human has plans to trick sites into falling for nefarious robots who really are robots even if they’re faking quivery human movement, he’s going to have to pick up the pace.

After all, CAPTCHAs – Completely Automated Procedures for Telling Computers and Humans Apart – are designed to make it costly and complicated for crooks to write programs that can rapidly do things like register for hundreds of free email accounts. Not slowly, painfully register for hundreds of free email accounts at a pace of a snail frozen in February molasses.

We got the quivery click test a few years ago, when Google simplified its prove-you’re-a-human reCAPTCHA test. To prove we’re not automated bots, it gave us a single, hopefully quivery “I’m not a robot” click to replace the previous deciphering of blobby melted characters and mathematical problems that made our brains hurt.

Google called the new version Invisible reCAPTCHA.

Announced in December, the free service is designed to protect sites and apps from spam and abuse without any need for users to click in a quivery human fashion, select all the kitten pictures on their mobile devices or jump through whatever other hoops developers set up to prove we’re real.

So basically, googly-eyed robot arm can gloat about having beaten the “I’m not a robot test,” and sure, pixellated sunglasses can drop down onto its googly eyes because it thinks it’s all that, but c’mon, it beat Captcha technology that’s on the brink of being outmoded.

Deal with THAT, googly-eyed robot arm!