Ved isn’t exactly sure how we was able to make the purchase, or even how the domain was made available in the first place.
Mr Ved was checking Google’s Domains interface and to his surprise he found that the world’s largest search engine site, Google.com, was available for purchase.
Sanmay Ved, an ex-Google employee, was surfing through Google Domains, Google’s website-buying service, when he came across Google.com, and yes, it was available and too for a meagre $12. And ex-Googler Sanmay Ved owned it for one, handsome minute.
On Tuesday of this week, Ved – who worked in online media sales at Google for more than five years, but now works at Amazon – says he was messing around on Google Domains, the Internet giant’s domain name-registering service. “I thought it was a few error, but I could actually complete check out”.
His time as owner of the Google.com domain was short-lived though.
“The scary part was I had access to the webmaster controls for a minute,” Ved told Business Insider. A few emails contained sensitive information that should only be known by the owner of the website – by the webmasters of Google.
Ved is unsure as to what occurred that let him purchase the site. In case of Google, it was able to buy it from Google itself and quickly cancel it; however, Microsoft had to request the buyer to give it back to them. The automatic cancellation was, of course, only possibly because it happened through Google Domains, which Google still owned. A Google spokesperson said they are looking into the issue, but “aren’t now noticing anything unusual”. Unlike, as Ved points out, when Microsoft lost control of its Hotmail United Kingdom domain in 2003 because it forgot to renew its ownership in time. And just like that, in the blink of an eye, the transaction goes through and the vaunted and highly valuable Google domain is in your possession.
Ved’s post mentions that Google’s Security Team acknowledged the incident in response to a message Ved sent the company after the purchase went through.