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Bug Google Communications

Gmail Bug Sends Thousands of Emails To One Man 113

Posted by Soulskill
from the sorry-about-your-luck dept.
An anonymous reader writes "TechCrunch is reporting on an interesting Gmail bug. Apparently, if you run a Google search for Gmail while logged in and click one of the top (and correct) results, it brings up a Compose window with an email address already filled in: the Hotmail account of a Fresno, CA man. He says he's been receiving hundreds every hour, most of which are blank, since yesterday. The article says the bug is related to the Gmail outage from earlier this afternoon."
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Gmail Bug Sends Thousands of Emails To One Man

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  • "Gmail" Bug? (Score:5, Informative)

    by lagartoflojo (998588) on Friday January 24, 2014 @05:00PM (#46061705)
    This is hardly a "Gmail bug", but rather Google indexing a direct link to Gmail with the To: field filled out with some random email address. The linkbait-y title of this post made me think that some of my private emails were getting sent to the wrong person.
    • This is hardly a "Gmail bug", but rather Google indexing a direct link to Gmail with the To: field filled out with some random email address.

      It doesn't look like an indexing issue (if it were, wouldn't that be a bug in their indexing algorithm?). Apparently there were other people who were getting emails as well.

  • Only today? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Carewolf (581105) on Friday January 24, 2014 @05:00PM (#46061707) Homepage
    What, he doesn't already receive thousands of emails everyday that is not for him? Lucky man.
  • We've converted to gmail where I work and for the last two weeks chrome consistently throws up page not responding errors when in gmail. This has been happening for multiple users, and I'm rather tired of hearing their complaints. Right now I just advise them to using Internet Explorer to access gmail.
    • Yeah, I ran into that eariler this week. The only thing that solved it was to delete all of my cache and cookies. Hasn't happened again.

      • by Fnord666 (889225)

        Yeah, I ran into that eariler this week. The only thing that solved it was to delete all of my cache and cookies. Hasn't happened again.

        Clear the browser's cache and cookies. It's the web 2.0 version of "Have you tried rebooting it?". If you haven't tried it yet, don't even call me.

    • by Jakeula (1427201)
      My company has been having similar errors, I believe its less a Gmail error and more of a Chrome error. When I try to google anything from the nav bar directly I get an insane load time that usually ends in a failure page with the t-rex on it. However if I visit google.com directly in chrome it works just fine. Yet in Firefox I can search anything I want at the top and get speedy results. I find it odd that Googles products don't interact well with one another, yet 3rd parties are able to interface with the
  • When you are being DDoSed by motherfucking Google .

    • by DocSavage64109 (799754) on Friday January 24, 2014 @05:08PM (#46061813)
      I like how the article suggests that he is manually deleting the bad emails. I'd think if they were all blank, he could set up a filter to do that for him.
      • OK, everyone send him an email with some random text, and an attachment. :)
        Lets see how long the hotmail servers can cope. :)
      • I think Google should send someone over and do that for him.

        As well as other general levels of groveling.

        This guy has a real case against Google in the court of public opinion. He doesn't have to go legal. The simple PR value here is enough for Google to make a giant public act of contrition and gift the guy with something large, to make up for the troubles they caused him.

        Hey... here's an idea: send over a high level Google engineer as this guy's personal lowly tech support guy for a month.

        Heck, that sounds like it could be a sitcom, a Youtube web series.

        Google: you can turn lemons into lemonade here, make it happen.

        • This guy has a HOTMAIL account. One of my brothers had a hotmail account about the time hotmail started ...ummm... releasing the names of their users' non-hotmail contacts to spammers.

          Point being, maybe this guy should change to a non-hotmail account. Then Google can update their form to the NEXT super-popular hotmail user.

          Okay, tongue in cheek all done.

          Yes, it is not lost on me that worse than "don't be evil" is the unstated "don't be NSA", and worse than that is "don't be Microsoft", and Google is even me

      • by Chelloveck (14643)
        Why would anyone tech-savvy enough to know how to set up a mail filter still be using hotmail?
    • That sounds like a great day. I'm not a lawyer but I suspect a lawyer would LOVE to get their hands on this situation with an eye on a big payday.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Worse though. Just as you're trying to resolve the problem, Techcrunch goes and creates a story about you being spammed, includes your address so that even more people can spam you, and then Slashdot spreads the story far and wide.

  • Ok, I could just Google the damned thing, but if you're going to reference "Gmail outage from earlier this afternoon," can you at least link to page giving details of the outage instead of a generic Google Apps status page?

    Grumble grumble....
    • by Cramer (69040)

      Click one of the orange dots. It'll give you just about as much not-information. "It's down", and "It's back" is all Google(tm) has said about it.

      • by murdocj (543661)

        One of the statuses has a link to a blog post describing a bit of what happened (bug in config generation program that generated a bad config that was then deployed) and what Google is planning to do about it. They listed a couple of changes they are planning on (fix this bug in configuration program, check configs more carefully, etc), but interestingly enough, nothing like "deploy config in a test environment before deploying to production".

  • Well, now he can sue Google. He's not bound by Google's EULA; he's signed up with Microsoft's Hotmail.

  • Now that this has been posted on slashdot, I wonder how his email will increase as slashdotters try this out.
  • Grrr (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Thanks Obama! :|

  • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Friday January 24, 2014 @05:22PM (#46061971)
    Yeah, I think we've located the source of the problem
  • Say it isn't so.

  • Show of Hands (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday January 24, 2014 @05:52PM (#46062275) Homepage Journal

    How many of you read the summary and developed a sudden desire to bombard this poor soul's inbox by trying it for yourselves? Be honest.

    I'll start things off by admitting to it myself.

    • Not me. But then I'm not five years old, emotionally, psychologically, or physically.

      • Not me. But then I'm not five years old, emotionally, psychologically, or physically.

        I certainly hope not; otherwise, we would need to hunt down the filthy pedophile who shoved that stick up your ass.

        • How is not behaving like an ignorant jackass "having a stick up my ass"? The one with a problem my friend is you for even momentarily considering "bombarding his inbox".

          • How is having a sense of humor being a five-year-old?

            BTW, I would assume someone as mature as you're trying to make yourself out to be would not insist on including playground epithets in every response, especially the opening one.

    • Erm... no, not me.

      [Pause.]

      Excuse me. I have to shut down a script.

    • I had a sudden desire to open a compose window and see the guy's address in it.
      But no sudden desire to press "send".

    • by Chapium (550445)
      I guess you had better not ever open a phonebook.
  • by magarity (164372) on Friday January 24, 2014 @06:14PM (#46062461)

    Why exactly do you need to use google search to look for gmail when you're already logged in? Hundreds of people are doing that per hour, wtf? Hello? Address bar?

    • by swillden (191260)

      Why exactly do you need to use google search to look for gmail when you're already logged in? Hundreds of people are doing that per hour, wtf? Hello? Address bar?

      Vast numbers of people search google for "google".

      From their perspective, they want to search for something so they type "google" into their web browser and it takes them to google.com where they can do their search, never realizing that they could have skipped the first step and just typed their search query in the same place they typed "google".

      I've heard a rumor (no idea if it's real) that at one point the Chrome team tried popping up a tooltip explaining to people who typed "google" into the locatio

      • by slapout (93640)

        I lot of my relatives end up with a tool bars installed that change the default search provider to something else. For them, finding google first is a good thing.

    • Gmail had 425 million users in mid-2012 (according to Wikipedia). Probably more now. If only one in a million people are stupid enough to do something each hour, it will still occur hundreds of times per hour.

  • So nobody try to DDOS him ok?
  • Has the recipient been arrested for hacking yet?

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