Those of us who have fought true evil in our lifetimes know well that it’s just when you are feeling the most righteous, that’s just when you have that moment of true clarity and discover evil within yourself.
Google is showing less and less inclination to fight off the forces of evil while letting their support of legitimate users (and paying customers) languish.
While Chinese hackers may make the headlines (perhaps to earn street cred for schools like Shanghai Jiaotong University and Lanxiang Vocational School), the Vietnamese hackers seem to want to work more quietly stealing identities and credit card information (here, here, here, and here).
The Vietnamese are not reticent about one thing, though, they are very open in helping each other through hacker forums and sales of hacker tools (warez) to each other, and to the rest of the world. Â I’d give you a link to a google search here, Â but too many would click on a link out ofÂ curiosity, only to discover hostageware on their computer a short time later.
Click the second image in this article for a screen shot of how openly Vietnamese hackers make their warez and expertise available.
The second time some Vietnamese hackers got into my Adwords account and set up a bunch of ads in Vietnamese (sticking me with the bill, they think), I thought I knew the drill from having dealt with it before a year ago.
The hackers have not changed, but Google has indeed changed in the interval.
The news may come to you in reviewing credit card statements, a sudden inability to access your gmail account, or perhaps even an email from Google suggesting you review your Adwords account.
The Vietnamese hackers are smart enough to change your backup gmail address to one of their own and change your secret question so you can’t do the quick and simple password reset routine to recover control of your account.
Enough Google Adwords accounts have been hacked that Google now provides a special form for you to fill out in order to recover funds charged fraudulently to your Adwords account.
On Gmail account recovery, Google promises action within 24 hours. On Adwords funds recovery, Google promises action within 3-5 business days.
Google is making good on neither promise. Â After two weeks of waiting for Google to take action on the Adwords funds, I finally called my credit card company to dispute the charges. Â When I mentioned Google, the nice lady handling the call at the credit card company asked, “Is this about Google Adwords?” Â Apparently the credit card phone workers had received a bulletin or heard the situation mentioned in a meeting. Â She was very, very helpful.
Or perhaps it was abut the money; a $330 claim gets fast service. Â A couple of grand? Â Not so much.
So Google, I have two questions for you.
1. Â Why, in over a year, have you been unable to fix the security on Gmail and Adwords?
2. Â Why are you not keeping your time commitments in getting back to your customers with remedies over serious security issues, including issues on fraudulent credit card charges?
This, at a company that has the resources to fight both sides of a fight over whether a senior executive has the ability to get search results on his personal political activities quashed.
Google’s unofficial motto is: Don’t Be Evil.
Time for your personal epiphany, Google. Â You are evil.