Like a viewer basking in the enormous, unstoppable power of the Death Star and then noticing, wait a minute, it looks like an enemy can just fire directly into that exhaust port, someone likewise noticed a recent chink in Google’s armor—or rather, that the armor was for sale. Upon learning that he could buy Google’s web domain for only $12, Sanmay Ved, an MBA student and former Google employee, checked his wallet and said, “Okay, sure.”
After purchasing the domain, Ved had access to all of Google’s webmaster tools until Google canceled the order one minute later. Not only had Ved lost all dominance in the universe just a few seconds after he had attained it, but he was also out $12. Knowing this, Google decided to reimburse him the $12, plus thousands more for highlighting such a potentially catastrophic vulnerability. But instead of happily skipping to the bank, Ved told Google that he would rather the money go to charity.
“I don’t care about money,” Ved told a Business Insider reporter who probably quipped, “What a luxury.” Ved added, “It was never about the money. I also want to set an example that [for] people who want to find bugs that it’s not always about the money.” When Ved said this to Google representatives, the company doubled the initial award, bringing the total to “more than $10,000.” Ved’s charity of choice was The Art of Living India, which “focuses on bringing education to the slums.” Personally, we would have asked to be made Emperor of Google, but then again, we’re terrible.