ShoZu's hieroglyphics prove you're human

When setting up a ShoZu account online, translating a cryptographic security code separates humans from bots.

Forget Descartes and his classically profound notion of human existence, "Cogito ergo sum." These days, cracking a short cryptograph is what proves hominid status.

ShoZu's cryptogram proves you're human, and can follow directions. CNET Networks

Assailed by several DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks, ShoZu (review), a mobile and Web media-sharing service, switched from the 6 to 8 character authentication system to a series of encoded glyphs you have to translate in order to pass the I'm-a-human qualification required of ShoZu account holders.

While uploading and downloading media feeds between the mobile phone and Web doesn't seem like such a security risk, ShoZu CEO Mark Bole explains that for companies like his, the more complex system reduces financial risk.

"To make things simpler for the user, we're sending invisible SMSs to verify the device," said Bole, a cost ShoZu shoulders. The more false accounts are created by bots or dedicated cyberhooligans, the more expenses ShoZu has. Just be glad ShoZu also provides a key.

About the author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.


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