Google has issued a bug bounty payment after an email gaffe led to the Google.com domain being put up for sale on a URL marketplace and quickly snapped up by a US student.
The error meant that ownership of the internet address shifted briefly to Sanmay Ved, who paid $12 for the URL on 29 September, before the transaction was quickly discovered and reversed by Google Domains.
Ved has documented the incident in a post on LinkedIn, saying that he started to receive emails from Google and saw the transaction listed on his Google Domains order history.
"Though purchase had successfully gone through, and [the] domain now belonged to me as evident above, the purchase was followed by an order cancellation email from Google Domains," he explained.
"As soon as I completed [the] purchase, I received two emails, one from [email protected], and one from [email protected], which is not the norm when you book domains via Google Domains as I have booked new, previously un-registered domains before."
Following the gaffe, which is now reportedly being investigated, Google offered Ved a financial reward for reporting the domain vulnerability. However, Google doubled the figure after Ved decided to give the reward to the Art of Living India Foundation.
"Google Security has now contacted me, and has offered me a $x reward in a very Googley way," wrote Ved.
"They will now donate the reward amount (they have doubled the amount as it is now going to charity) to the Art of Living India foundation. I have chosen that the donation be made towards the Art of Living's education programme which runs 404 free schools across 18 states of India."
Google told V3 that it could offer no official comment on the story.
Google showcased its commitment to bug bounties in June by introducing a new reward scheme set up to uncover flaws in Android with rewards of up to $30,000.
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