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Anti-Spam feature flips forms 180

In the never-ending tit-for-tat game with spammers, we are always trying to find new ways to thwart automated spam software and keep junk from being submitted in website forms. The days of CAPTCHA are almost over. Software can easily "read" the jumbled characters that give even the most adept reader a challenge. With every technique that developers come up with, eventually the spammers get smart enough to circumvent it, and we need to come up with new techniques in this ongoing cat-and-mouse game.

Spam software can figure out images and can replicate the actions of people very well. But there is one thing that they can't (yet) do. They can't read upside down. So today we're introducing Form Flip technology. Software can be easily developed to read the code of forms, allowing the form to be compromised. However, they can't read the code if it's rotated 180 degrees. By simply making this one easy change, it stops automated spam software dead in its tracks. We have been testing this feature over the course of 3 months and have a 100% success rate. And as spammers eventually start to figure this out and adapt, we can rotate to a different degree. That means we have 359 more possible code changes available (actually 358 if we don't count zero degrees) before this technology is completely figured out--something that will surely last several years.

One challenge that we noticed during our testing was that it's somewhat tricky to read the form fields since it's upside down. So far we've thought of various ways to solve this obstacle. If you are on a smart phone or tablet, you can lock the screen orientation and flip the device to complete the form. For laptop use, it's very easy to turn the laptop over and read the form. And for desktop users, it's a bit more challenging, but many monitors can be swiveled around. And for monitors that don't rotate, they can be flipped over. We recognize that it's not convenient for all users, but we're confident that people will find creative ways to address the issue. And in the bigger picture, having zero spam certainly outweighs the small inconvenience that a very small percent might experience. Perhaps this will be enough to finally get everybody mobile.

To take advantage of this new feature, go to "manage sites"=>"edit forms". Click "edit properties" and select "Form Flip" in the Spam Protection dropdown.


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