You may remember the story we recently ran about Sanmay Ved, the man who bought his former employer’s master domain for one minute. He had been browsing Google Domains in the wee hours of the morning and stumbled across the Google.com, listed for twelve dollars. For one minute, he had full access to the site and its webmaster controls, after which Google promptly reversed the transaction. He had taken screenshots and told Google’s security team exactly how the whole thing went down.
Google must have really appreciated his gesture of white-hat-ism. Their standard reaction to people finding security holes in their products, naturally, is to reward them. In an exceedingly generous gesture, Sanmay Ved asked that his reward go to a charity of his choice; specifically, one in India that strives to provide education to children in lower-income areas, known as The Art of Living India. Because of this, Google saw fit to double his already substantial reward. Sanmay wouldn’t give an exact amount, but did let the press know that it was over ten thousand dollars to begin with, meaning that Google has rewarded The Art of Living India at least twenty thousand dollars.
Google has a fairly long and storied history of philanthropy and a sense of humor, so their reaction to this incident seems fairly typical. Sanmay, an ex-Googler himself, is so in love with the company that he has their logo as his profile picture on Facebook. He was pleased with the outcome, saying that education is an issue that’s close to home for him and that money never crossed his mind during the incident.
I don’t care about the money. It was never about the money, I also want to set an example that it’s people who want to find bugs that it’s not always about the money.
His sentiment is echoed throughout the white-hat community. Sanmay, no hacker himself, simply saw an opportunity to do some good and serve a company he loved. He took it upon himself to solve a glaring issue without taking advantage of it for personal gain and managed to restore the internet’s faith in humanity while he was at it.