For every warm-blooded human who has ever taken an online poll or signed up for free web-based email, there are legions of computer-automated Internet robots, or "bots," trying to do the same thing.
A clever security system designed to stop these bot programs - which contribute to the Internet equivalent of computer-generated telemarketing calls - has now been cracked by a pair of computer scientists from the University of California, Berkeley.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh created the security system, known as Gimpy, to thwart the bot programs that relentlessly scour cyberspace for opportunities to register new email addresses, stuff ballots for online polls and direct unwitting participants in Internet chat rooms to advertisements. Bot-produced email accounts are hard to block or trace, making them ideal vehicles for sending spam to legitimate email users.
Sarah Yang | EurekAlert!
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