Warning:the attack techniques and design guidelines describedin this paper are obsolete due to the invention of generalized techniques to break text captchas as described in this paper.

We carry out a systematic study of existing visual CAPTCHAs based on distorted characters that are augmented with anti-segmentation techniques. Applying a systematic evaluation methodology to 15 current CAPTCHA schemes from popular web sites, we find that 13 are vulnerable to automated attacks. Based on this evaluation, we identify a series of recommendations for CAPTCHA designers and attackers, and possible future directions for producing more reliable human/computer distinguishers.