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‘Human error’, says Google after man receives $250,000 payment for no reason

September 18, 2022

A ‘human error’ made Google send $250,000 (approx. ₹2 crore) to a self-proclaimed hacker, the company has said, after the mistake came to light when the beneficiary, Sam Curry, flagged it on Twitter, informing the tech giant about the ‘random payment’ received by him.

“It’s been a little over 3 weeks since Google randomly sent me $249,999 and I still haven’t heard anything on the support ticket. Is there any way we could get in touch @Google ?,” Curry, whose profile on the social media platform describes him as a hacker and ‘bug bounty hunter’, tweeted on September 14.

“It’s OK if you don’t want it back,” Curry added.

Also Read: On network breach, Uber says no evidence hacker gained access to sensitive data

In a statement to NPR, Google said it intended to take the money back. “Our team recently made a payment to the wrong party as the result of human error. We appreciate that it was quickly communicated to us by the impacted partner, and we are working to correct it”.

Meanwhile, Curry, who works with Yuga Labs as a Staff Security Engineer, told NPR though he occasionally does bug bounty hunting for Google and other companies, he was still unable to establish a link between his part-time work and the sum paid to him by the Mountain View-headquartered giant.

Also Read: Hacker may have exposed personal data of over 1 billion TikTok users

“While the money was available for me to spend, I was simply holding onto it just in case they tried to get it back”, Curry further told NPR.

‘Big bounty hunting’ is when people are paid by firms and organisations to find vulnerabilities in their software.

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