Can Bots Bypass CAPTCHA?

A CAPTCHA is a test that tries to catch bots. How easy is it for bots to overcome a CAPTCHA challenge? Can bots solve CAPTCHA? What's the best way to stop bots?
By 

Daniël de Jager

 on October 26, 2022. 
Reviewed by 

Kayla Visagie

A CAPTCHA challenge is a test presented to a subject to verify that they are human. Invented in 2000, CAPTCHA has evolved and today features various test models, from computer-warped text to identifying objects in grainy images.

While they have been successful against unsophisticated bots, CAPTCHAs are no longer effective in stopping them completely. New CAPTCHAs are released all the time because previous iterations were beaten. Advanced machine learning bots now have little trouble overcoming CAPTCHA challenges.

CAPTCHA Fails at Security - And User Experience

A CAPTCHA is a reverse Turing test, which means that a computer tests whether the subject is also a computer. Herein lies the issue: even though humans are setting up the tests, it's a computer presenting them in a digital format that another computer can theoretically understand. The only way to make it harder for bots to pass such tests is to increase the difficulty of the test, which makes it harder for humans to solve it too. Fundamentally, these tests add no useful security protections.

Every time a human is faced with (and possibly fails) a CAPTCHA, it tarnishes the entire user experience. The average time a user spends on a website (known as dwell time) is around 50 seconds, and the average person takes around 10 seconds to solve a CAPTCHA—20% of the dwell time. Failed CAPTCHA tests cause frustration and burn even more precious dwell time seconds.

Alternatives to Obsolete CAPTCHA Systems

Adding more friction to the user experience is not the ideal way to increase security. Instead, opt for an advanced AI tool that automatically detects suspicious activity and preserves the user experience for legitimate users. nSure.ai is a leading platform that incorporates a host of machine learning checks and verifications to beat bots at their own game.