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Google reveals how much it paid the man who owned Google.com for one minute

Published 29/01/2016

Google doubled Ved's reward after learning he was donating it to charity
Google doubled Ved's reward after learning he was donating it to charity

Google has revealed how much it paid a former employee who managed to briefly become the owner of Google.com due to a computer glitch last year.

Sanmay Ved purchased the Google.com domain through Google's own Google Domains service in September 2015, for the low price of $12 (£8.35).

He initially thought the listing was an error, but was surprised when his payment went through and he got a confirmation email saying he was now the owner of the world's most-visited domain.

His 'ownership' of Google.com lasted for around one minute, and he even had access to the inner workings of the site - but Google quickly realised the error and refunded his purchase.

After the incident, Google contacted Ved and offered him a cash reward in exchange for spotting the unusual security error.

Neither Google nor Ved ever said what the reward was, but the company has now revealed the sum in a post on their online security blog.

Ved's initial reward was $6,006.13, a figure which looks a little like the world 'google' if you squint. After learning that Ved was donating his reward to an Indian education charity, Google doubled the amount - making his total reward $12,012.26 (£8,400).

Google regularly gives financial rewards to computer researchers who alert them to bugs or errors in their services - in the blog post, they revealed that they paid out over $2 million (£1.4 million) to more than 300 security tipsters in 2015 alone.

Researcher Tomasz Bojarski was the most prolific bug-finder of 2015, spotting 70 bugs in Google throughout the year. One of these bugs, ironically, was found in the web form where users can report security flaws.

Independent

Independent News Service

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