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What's Up CAPTCHA? A CAPTCHA Based on Image Orientation

Rich Gossweiler, Maryam Kamvar, Shumeet Baluja
We present a new CAPTCHA which is based on identifying an image's upright orientation. This task requires analysis of the often complex contents of an image, a task which humans usually perform well and machines generally do not. Given a large repository of images, such as those from a web search result, we use a suite of automated orientation detectors to prune those images that can be automatically set upright easily. We then apply a social feedback mechanism to verify that the remaining images have a human-recognizable upright orientation. The main advantages of our CAPTCHA technique over the traditional text recognition techniques are that it is language-independent, does not require text-entry (e.g. for a mobile device), and employs another domain for CAPTCHA generation beyond character obfuscation. This CAPTCHA lends itself to rapid implementation and has an almost limitless supply of images. We conducted extensive experiments to measure the viability of this technique.
Rich Gossweiler, Maryam Kamvar, Shumeet Baluja, proceedings of the 18th international conference on World wide web, pp. 841-850, ACM, 2009.