Are you smarter than Google’s phishing-detection algorithm for Gmail?
If you’re a conservative, you probably are. Not all email recipients may be so lucky — so it’s a good thing for at least some Gmail users that Google’s system is there to look out for them.
The Washington Times reported on Wednesday that a new email sent by the Sanders campaign to its followers triggered Gmail to flag it as a potential phishing scam, and attach a warning to it.
Promises like lower drug prices and free college just sat wrong with the Gmail algorithm, on the alert for fraudulent appeals to its email customers.
“Be careful with this message. It contains content that’s typically used to steal personal information,” Gmail said in a bright red warning box that appeared at the top of a message sent by Mr. Sanders’ campaign Friday, laying out his “Agenda for Working Families.”
“This message could be a scam,” Gmail says in its page explaining why it flagged the message as a “phishing scam.” Phishing is a specific type of spam email that scammers use to try to entice users to disclose bank accounts or other sensitive information.
A screen cap of the Gmail warning is below, courtesy of TWT.
Google treated this development as a “problem,” and scurried to “correct” it.
[A] representative for Google, the Internet giant that runs Gmail, said the company thinks it has figured out the problem.
“A regression in the spam filter’s machine learning framework was determined to be the root cause. The issue affected only a very small percentage of the overall email received by Gmail and it has now been resolved,” the representative said.
A cyber-security specialist said the message content was especially likely to trigger the phishing filter, however:
Ira Winkler, president of Secure Mentem and a cybersecurity specialist, said the campaign likely triggered Gmail’s filters because it included phrases that spammers use to try to sell prescription drugs and by offering things free of charge — in this case, the promise to pay for education at public colleges and universities.
“The way spam filters tend to work is you’ve got scoring. And the more time trigger words are used, scoring tends to go up. So if you see words like ‘free,’ if you see words like ‘prescription drugs,’ that keeps triggering it,” Mr. Winkler said.
Far from being a “problem,” it appears that Google’s Gmail has done a public service here, exposing the Sanders agenda as the political fraud it is. It’s exactly true that Sanders is making promises he can’t keep about “lower drug prices” and “free college,” and that the price of buying into those promises is signing your bank account over to the federal government.
Trust computer software to tell it like it is. The Sanders “Agenda for Working Families” meets the criteria. Bernie Sanders’s “democratic socialist” economic plan is a phishing scam.