Has reCaptcha been cracked / hacked / OCR’d / defeated / broken?


Have any programming methods have been used to defeat reCAPTCHA?

I'm interested in seeing evidence and potentially demonstrations that reCAPTCHA in particular has been made obsolete by completely automated, humanless methods.

To clarify, not looking for reCAPTCHA-cheating solutions that involve humans in any way, whether teams tasked with filling out CAPCHAs, porn-seekers, or Mechanical Turk.

I'm also not looking for alternatives to reCAPTCHA, like picking the type of animal, or background fields or javascript trickery.

Best Solution

I notice that almost all the answers here relate to the ineffectiveness of the concept of CAPTCHA, in principle - and while I very much agree with them, in fact gave a talk at OWASP a few months ago explaining just that - the question is very specific, so I will provide for a demonstration.
But first, I will reiterate that demonstration aside, re-read the other comments, since it's truth that CAPTCHA is pointless and not helpful, irrelevant of implementation....

But really, check out CAPTCHA Killer. You can upload a CAPTCHA image, and it will automatically, if not immediately, provide the OCR'd answer. It also provides for an API (REST, I think, but maybe also SOAP). I personally tried numerous reCAPTCHA images, and it was actually some of the easiest ones (or at least quickest) broken.

UPDATE: CAPTCHA Killer's website is now taken down, apparently under legal pressure. See http://captcha.org/ for a complete overview of the topic.

And yeah, OCR is not the best way to break a CAPTCHA protected site - there are many other better ways.

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