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CAPTCHA on a Router?

Posted by J Powers at 9:28 AM on May 12, 2009

D-Link has created the first router that makes you answer a CAPTCHA word before you can do anything on the router. It’s an interesting idea – you change the IP address, you add a CAPTCHA. It does thwart Bots from breaking into the system, but is it really necessary?

Captcha

CAPTCHA stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” – of course it’s that annoying word (or words) you have to enter that is all distorted. You may have to enter it once, you may have to enter it every time you post or change settings. Sometimes CAPTCHA can get really hard to read – there are times you just have to refresh the CAPTCHA because the words are just not legible.

CAPTCHA has been broken, too. Using OCR the bots can read and relay the word. Therefore, the more blurred the word(s), the harder it is to break.

D-Link put out the following statement:

In response to the growing number of these attacks and subsequent user security concerns, D-Link has integrated CAPTCHA – a system, designed to detect whether responses are human or computer-generated – into its popular home and small office routers as an extra safety measure. CAPTCHAs are used to prevent malicious software from performing actions that degrade the quality of service on a network, such as those found in worms, viruses and Trojan horses.

So why CAPTCHA on the router? Well, this is mostly for those that use their routers on more than pushing out wireless access. I have my router set up so I can remote into my main machine if need be. I use the router to collect some data. I also have the router blocking certain things so people cannot do items like download torrents.

Unlike other brands, the majority of D-LinkĀ® routers are not as easy to be compromised since our design is proprietary. However, we’re excited to be the first in the market to announce we have taken the initiative to implement CAPTCHA into our routers, thus providing yet another layer of security to our customers,” said AJ Wang, chief technology officer of D-Link. Popular D-Link router models that now feature CAPTCHA include the DIR-615, DIR-625, DIR-628, DIR-655, DIR-825, DIR-855, DIR-685, and DGL-4500.

Design might be proprietary, but it just means it’s more of a challenge for the programmer to break. Then again, @_Good_P@s$w0rd_woRks_a_1ot_b3tter (a good password works a lot better). And believe it or not – a password like the one I just emulated here is just as memorable as “Password1″.

Personally, it’s not a selling point for me. Routers that focus on plugging their security holes and giving you more managability is what I want. Not an annoying word that I might not be able to read.

One Comment

  1. From Weekly Podcast Ep 86 - 5-13-09 - Now on Stitcher - Geekazine.com at 5:09 pm on May 12, 2009

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