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Houck also mentioned security defenses in the system, including a high security lock out if an invalid response is given 32 times in a row.
Their tactic was to use techniques from machine learning, a subfield of artificial intelligence, to analyse the audio version of re CAPTCHA which is available for the visually impaired.
On 14 December 2009, Jonathan Wilkins released a paper describing weaknesses in re CAPTCHA that allowed a solve rate of 18%.
On 1 August 2010, Chad Houck gave a presentation to the DEF CON 18 Hacking Conference detailing a method to reverse the distortion added to images which allowed a computer program to determine a valid response 10% of the time.
According to former Google "click fraud czar" Shuman Ghosemajumder, this capability "creates a new sort of challenge that very advanced bots can still get around, but introduces a lot less friction to the legitimate human." The re CAPTCHA tests are displayed from the central site of the re CAPTCHA project, which supplies the words to be deciphered.
By end of 2014 this mechanism started to be rolled out to most of the public Google services.
The re CAPTCHA system was modified on 21 July 2010, before Houck was to speak on his method.
Houck modified his method to what he described as an "easier" CAPTCHA to determine a valid response 31.8% of the time.
If enough users were to correctly type the control word, but incorrectly type the second word which OCR had failed to recognize, then the digital version of documents could end up containing the incorrect word.
The identification performed by each OCR program is given a value of 0.5 points, and each interpretation by a human is given a full point.
Google released a new version of re CAPTCHA just hours before their talk, making major changes to both the audio and visual versions of their service.