A self-proclaimed hacker was randomly paid nearly $250,000 by Google. He was confused by the payment.
On Tuesday, Sam Curry tweeted about Alphabet Inc.’s mysterious GOOGL payment,
Google. “It’s been just over 3 weeks since Google randomly sent me $249,999 and I still haven’t heard anything about the support ticket. Is there a way to contact @Google?” he wrote.
“It’s okay if you don’t want it back…” he joked.
Curry describes himself as a hacker and bug bounty hunter in his Twitter bio. He works as a personnel security engineer at Yuga Labs, the crypto and non-fungible token (NFT) specialist that created the famous Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT project.
NPR reports that Google made the payment in error and notes that Curry sometimes does bug bounties for the tech giant and other companies.
“Google indeed contacted me and I’m going to the bank today to pay it back,” Curry told MarketWatch on Friday.
MarketWatch has contacted Google with a request for comment on this story.
Bug bounties are paid by companies and other organizations when someone discovers a vulnerability in their systems and reports the vulnerability, or “bug”, to them. Last year, for example, the Department of Homeland Security launched its “Hack DHS” program, which invited cybersecurity researchers and ethical hackers to identify potential vulnerabilities in certain external DHS systems.
In April 2022, the Department reported that more than 450 vetted researchers identified 122 vulnerabilities, 27 of which were rated critical. DHS awarded a total of $125,600 in bounties, he said.
Alphabet shares were down 0.9% before the market opened on Friday. The stock has fallen 29.0% year-to-date through Thursday, compared to the S&P 500 SPX index,
which fell 18.2%.