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Google's failure to join up data and actions shows fallacy of relying on AI

BIScom Subsection: 
Editorial Staff

Artificial Intelligence is the buzzword of the year, beating out even "blockchain" and "add oil." A company that claims to be at the front of the pack when it comes to AI is Google. But, as this case shows, it doesn't matter what your algorithms do if what they do isn't properly targeted and the correct action results. It also demonstrates why financial institutions should be very wary of relying on technology which is, at best immature and at worst experimental.

In the meantime, Google and Microsoft, let's bypass the intermediary and you can just send us the "($1,000,000.00) One Million United States Dollars" today. Thank you.

It all started with a targeted spam-scam of the old-fashioned "you've won a lottery" type. The mail is below for information. Of itself, it's entirely unremarkable.

But what is interesting is this: the reply e-mail address is at a domain which fakes association with Google. Now, of course, we are all utterly fed up with Google's persistent failure to deal with outgoing spam and the instant closing of accounts being used to collect responses via Gmail, both of which are easily within the capability of even the most simple analytics. The mail, somewhat amusingly, also relates to Microsoft which, similarly, fails to cope with spam involving outlook.com (to the point where all mail from that domain is now rejected unread at our own mail-servers.

The domain that fakes association with Google is mailto:payment@award-g00glemsw...

Let's leave aside the immediate question as to the culpability of the registrar in allowing the registration of such an obviously fake name, and that the fact that it exists demonstrates the failure of recently introduced security checks at ICANN, the question is simply this: if, with its undoubted reach which includes all newly registered domains, how can google not have taken steps with the registrar and/or ICANN to disable this vehicle for fraud within minutes of its registration?

The answer is simple: they are not joining up the data they collect and attaching it to risk management and enforcement systems.

That, of itself, proves that even the world's biggest data collection and processing company does not, or cannot, do exactly what is expected of banks, insurance companies and others for financial crime risk management, relating to money laundering, terrorist financing and the like.

Also surprising was that when we did a whois check on the domain award-g00glemsword.online, we were correctly told it was not available but we were offered a selection of alternatives: award-g00glemsword.[tld], proving that on-line brand protection is not only a fallacy but that there is a whole industry more than happy to help criminals dance around it.

The mail, incidentally, is spoofed to come from the domain techsengcycles.com.sg which appears to be entirely innocent

The mail was in HTML, again demonstrating why it is prudent for all mail systems to be set to deliver plain text only.


Subject: Dear [name]Congratulations!! (email address removed] HAS BEEN SELECTED BY MICROSOFT & GOOGLE

Hi [name]
Congratulations!! We happily announce to you the draw of Google and Microsoft American Multinational Corporation in conjunction with Microsoft Windows European online Sweepstakes promotion. This is to inform you that this Email [removed]
address has won prize money of ($1,000,000.00) One Million United States Dollars; We thank you for your patronage all past years by using the internet. GOOGLE and MICROSOFT two major providers of internet products globally collect all email addresses of people active online, among millions that subscribed to few from other e-mail providers.500 people are selected every year to benefit from this promotion and you are one of the Selected Winners.

Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center. Google and Microsoft Prize Award must be claimed no later than 30 days, from date of Draw Notification. Any prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited. Stated below are your identification numbers: BATCH NUMBER: GVMC/08/CC444, REF NUMBER:
2018831999, WINNING NUMBER: 01 55 21 10 49

You are advised to contact our fiduciary agent and send your winning identification numbers for your payment:

Contact Your Appointed Agent Contact person: Collins PetersonEmail:
payment@award-g00glemsword.online[Links to mailto:payment@award-g00glemsw...
Phone: +15854160244

1. Full Name 2. Contact Address 3. Mobile / Telephone Number 4 Age 5. Gender 6. Country
7. Occupation 8. Batch Number 9. Reference Number 10. Winning Number
Yours Faithfully, (Coordinator/ Promotion Manager)
............................................................ ............................................................"Do not reply back to the sender's address or the source email address, it is sent via computer virtual assistance for response will not be read my Human but computer" Therefore you must contact the fiduciary agents by phone and email address provided above "

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