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Barracuda Web Security Service

Why am I seeing a message asking me to verify the text in this image?

  • Type: Knowledgebase
  • Date changed: 5 years ago
Solution # 00006468

Scope: Barracuda Web Security Service – Message about Captcha/ Re-Captcha

Background: Some customers have been prompted by common sites such as Google, Craigslist and Yelp to input characters from an on-screen image to verify a human is making the request and not an automated computer program.

Answer: Captcha is a system designed to identify a human vs. a computer program. This has many security based applications and is widely used today. One application of this system is based on a traffic volume threshold. When the threshold is met, the captcha is displayed to verify that this is a human making the requests and not a computer program with malicious intent. In most cases this works fine, however when there are a concentrated number of users making requests from a single IP address this can be triggered falsely. This is what is occurring when users of the FLEX security service are seeing this message; the threshold set by the domain owner is being crossed. The same problem can occur for any cloud based Web Filter or Proxy. While we do not have control over the thresholds set, we do have some control to help with this and have taken the following actions:

- Additional IP addresses were provisioned in all of our data centers.

- Improved logic was implemented to balance the load across the added IP addresses.

- We Added data centers to allow better geo-location and to reduce latency

- We involved our own ARIN servers, which allows us to train the Public IP addresses ourselves

We will continue to work on minimizing this behavior and appreciate your patience and understanding regarding the parts of the issue that are outside of our direct control.

Additional Notes:

- For more information about captcha/ re-captcha please visit Google's page regarding this issue here.

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