Worst CAPTCHA Ever

By definition, CAPTCHA should be easy to read by humans but hard to read by machines. Apparently, they don’t agree with that at D&B:


They put CAPTCHA in a plain HTML text, and then put an ugly background below so it can’t be read by humans.
I knew corporate developers can be of lower quality, but this is hilarious 🙂


UPDATE 1: Check discussion on Hacker News and discussion on Reddit.


UPDATE 2: Many people got offended, but I stick to my personal opinion: many corporations have recruitment practices that reject good programmers and attract bad ones. Good programmers don’t want to work in an environment where meetings require a tie, the development process is waterfall and the only way to increase your salary is to become a manager. But most of all, the screening of programmers should be done by technical department and not by corporate HR. And that is not hard, here you can create programming tests for Java and C# and send them to your candidates in less than 5 min.

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28 thoughts on “Worst CAPTCHA Ever

  1. “I knew corporate developers can be of lower quality, but this is hilarious”

    That’s rude man.

    • I opened a free account with D&B and then I was searching for profiles of 3-4 companies. At one point CAPTCHA popped up.

  2. Nah I second the rude notion. If you think mocking fellow devs of any level and profession constitutes “fun” then I pity the people who have to work with you.

    • I showed your comment to my coworkers. They were touched by your support and they said they also accept donations.

    • We’re not talking about “any” level of professionalism. We’re talking about UNPROFESSIONALISM.

    • Oh I was wondering when sarcasm would be rolled out. I guess not everyone’s brain is capable of applying a mental hammer to the fingers before they touch the keyboard, all you had to do was get off that pedestal and admit your comments where extremely harsh and for the most part, unfounded – unless of course you can show me statistics that back you up.
      I did look for a suitable charity to donate to but alas, I couldn’t find any that aids arrogant self absorbed individuals, guess you’re out of luck.

    • Hey loannis, slow down, this post is all fun and games 🙂
      You seem like a nice guy, sorry if I offended you in any way. And I will get of my pedestal and admit: my comments were extremely harsh and completely unfounded.
      On a lighter side, next time you need to donate to a group of arrogant self-absorbed individuals, look at political parties, you have many candidates there 🙂

  3. There are a lot of interesting alternatives to CAPTCHA’s these days, so I’m not sure why they are still so prevalent. My favorite alternative (I’m not affiliated with them) is http://areyouahuman.com, they use a combination of recognizable images and your mouse movements to determine if you are a real person or not.

  4. Haha, thanks for this post, I haven’t laughed out loud in a while. That’s awesome.

  5. What’s with the ‘corporate’ dig. It was just a low quality job. You don’t know the circumstances, maybe it was a low budget add one, someone given a few hours to do a captcha.

    I think the market talks as well, corporate developers are universally higher paid on average. Must be some reason for that?

    • You are right. Average developer at D&B is probably paid more than average hacker at San Francisco startup.

      Las Vegas hookers are paid even more; maybe D&B should hire them to do the CAPTCHA?

  6. TLDR: This may be a case of spending just enough to get just enough security.

    This may be an example of perfectly rational engineering decision. The problem that most websites face is not that they are targeted specifically, but simply bots trying to submit every form they can find. So small sites are more secure by implementing custom captcha than choosing some popular one, like recaptcha. Spammers are unlikely to customize their bots just to accommodate some small site, so small sites can choose a prevention mechanism that is trivial to bypass and have just as much unwanted form submissions prevented as by implementing some complex (and therefore more costly) scheme. There’s no need for distracting background in this kind of implementation, but sometimes it’s needed to convince the boss.

  7. D&B / Dunn & Bradstreet — Worst website ever. I could not for the life of me use their web site, and was defaulted to “calling our office” and that didn’t result in any positive resolution, so I simply gave up in frustration. Worst B2B webite perhaps ever. I struggle to think of one that was worse. The unreadable captcha is only one part of the bad experience.

    I don’t think it’s a contractor, because it’s all bad.

    Thinking…. thinking…. no, for sheer frustration, D&B wins. (Oh yes, tried to order undershirts from a military supply site, and they told me my address did not exist, that was frustrating, but I didn’t *need* the undershirts-as-gift. D&B is sort of critical).

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