Suspicious Google search results

October 6, 2011

I was doing a Google search for an ex-colleague the other day. In the search results I saw this:

That looked suspicious. What on earth were a whole lot of ‘Edwards’ doing listed under flight information? Were they employees? Or was this an passenger list? Or some other list?

Whatever it was, I suspect it wasn’t meant to be public!

Curiosity got the better of me so I went to the linked page. There was nothing on it related to any names at all, let alone a slew of ‘Edwards’. So I checked the source code — nothing in the HTML markup either.

So that got me wondering as to where this list of names had come from. Was it a list previously associated with this page and Google was reporting what was in its cache? Was it a list drawn from a (secure?) database — if so, why weren’t the names showing on the page or in its markup? Were the names employees or a flight manifest? If so, isn’t this a major breach of security?

I still don’t know how those names got there or where they came from, but it made me suspicious of the sort of data that Google might have access to without anyone knowing it — such as staff or passenger lists.

BTW, I didn’t find my ex-colleague…

One comment

  1. suspicious indeed

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