Looks like solving CAPTCHAs has become a big business as spammers and mass-ticket purchasers have outsourced CAPTCHA solving to sweatshops in Russia and Southeast Asia. According to an article over at NPR, workers earn an average of 75 dollarcents per 1,000 CAPTCHAs solved.
Savage tells NPR's Liane Hansen that these CAPTCHA-solving teams are "effectively sweatshop labor, where people will just sit and be given these images to solve and will type them in all day."
Despite a lack of English-language skills, the workers are fast. "Generally speaking, [they] can turn around a CAPTCHA in between 10 and 20 seconds. They're probably a little better at it than we are, because they do it all day," Savage says.
The faster they are, the better — because the going rate is about 75 cents per 1,000 CAPTCHAs solved. "It's about $2 or $3 a day," Savage says.