Protect Your Java Application by reCAPTCHA

4 months gone since I have post my last blog. Got a very encouraging feedback from my readers in this period but can't manage to write anything. Now feeling glad to start writing again. Hope java developers will find this tutorial useful to protect their application using reCaptcha, a widely used CAPTCHA system in the industry.

First go to the reCAPTCHA website and create your reCAPTCHA key by providing the domain name of your application. You will get two keys one is Private and another is Public. Public key will be used in the JavaScript code that is served to your users. Private key is required to communicate between your server and the reCAPTCHA server. Be sure to keep the Private key secret.

Now download the recaptcha4j library from here. And place the jar file in WEB-INF/lib/ directory. It will make your life easy to display the reCAPTCHA widget, send the user request to reCAPTCHA server and get response from there.

You are now ready to use reCAPTCHA in your application. First import the required classes in your JSP page.

<%@ page import="net.tanesha.recaptcha.ReCaptcha" %>
<%@ page import="net.tanesha.recaptcha.ReCaptchaFactory" %>
Now add the following code in the web page, where you want to put the reCAPTCHA box. Target of using reCAPTCHA is to protect form submission so place this between the form beginning and ending tags.
ReCaptcha c = ReCaptchaFactory.newReCaptcha("your_public_key", "your_private_key", false);
          out.print(c.createRecaptchaHtml(null, null));

First line of the code will create an instance of reCAPTCHA. Second line will generate and display a reCAPTCHA widget in your page.

Now come to the server side where you have to validate the submitted form with the reCAPTCHA server.

Here is a simple servlet which is used to do the validation job.
import net.tanesha.recaptcha.ReCaptchaImpl;
import net.tanesha.recaptcha.ReCaptchaResponse;

public class GreetingServlet extends HttpServlet 
    public void doPost(HttpServletRequest req, HttpServletResponse resp)
            throws IOException {

        String challenge = req.getParameter("recaptcha_challenge_field");
        String response = req.getParameter("recaptcha_response_field");
        String remoteAddr = req.getRemoteAddr();

        ReCaptchaImpl reCaptcha = new ReCaptchaImpl();
        reCaptcha.setPrivateKey("[write your privatekey here]");

        ReCaptchaResponse reCaptchaResponse =
                reCaptcha.checkAnswer(remoteAddr, challenge, response);

        if (reCaptchaResponse.isValid()) {
            //valid do something whatever you want to do
            //not valid do something like send error message to user

remoteAddr is the user's IP address which is passed to the reCAPTCHA servers. response contains the user's answer to the reCAPTCHA challenge.

You are done. Visit this link to get an example of how it works.
Reference link.

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