The history of reCAPTCHA began in 2007. It is a technology that combines anti-spam protection and optical character recognition (OCR). The reCAPTCHA project was developed by scientists from Carnegie Mellon University, Louis von Ahnemann and Ben Mora.
Originally, the CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) system was created to protect against automated password matching, spamming and other types of abuse on websites. However, scientists decided to use the technology to solve another problem: character recognition in digitized books.
The idea was to use Internet users to help recognize words or phrases that computer OCR programs could not read with high accuracy. These words or phrases were taken from digital book archives that were scanned and processed to create electronic versions.
Thus, when users visited a Web site, in addition to the usual CAPTCHA, they also saw a word or set of characters that they had to recognize and enter. If most users entered the same answer, the system deemed it correct and used it to recognize the corresponding words or phrases in the digital books.
In 2009, Google acquired reCAPTCHA and began actively using its technology on its platforms. The advantage of reCAPTCHA is that it provides protection against spam and at the same time helps in recognizing text from old books and archives.
In the years that followed, reCAPTCHA continued to evolve and improve. New types of captchas were introduced, such as "I'm not a robot," which are based on analyzing user behavior and using advanced machine learning algorithms to determine whether a user is human or a bot.
Today, reCAPTCHA remains one of the most widely used technologies to protect against spam and automated attacks on websites. It is integrated into many popular platforms and services, including account registration, blog comments, online shopping, form filling and more.
One important change in the development of reCAPTCHA was to move away from text character input to simpler validation methods. Instead of requiring users to enter garbled characters, the system began using analysis of user behavior and interaction with the website. In this way, reCAPTCHA was able to reduce the time and complexity of verification for regular users, while maintaining reliability against bots and spam emails.
Through constant development and improvement of algorithms, reCAPTCHA has become more effective in detecting and blocking automated attacks. It uses many factors, such as the speed and rhythm of data entry, mouse movements, Shift key usage and many others, to determine whether a user is human or bot.
Despite all the improvements, there are some methods to circumvent reCAPTCHA. Some developers and hackers are constantly working on creating tools and algorithms that can bypass the system. However, thanks to the constant updating and development of reCAPTCHA, most conventional attacks still remain ineffective.
So, reCAPTCHA continues to be an important tool in the fight against automated attacks and spam in the online environment. Through innovative validation techniques and the use of machine learning, it helps protect websites and keep users safe, while maintaining usability for regular users.