Web designer buys Argentinian domain name from Google for $3

(Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash)

Google and Buenos Aires web designer Nicolas Kurona both had a big surprise last week when Kurona successfully took control of Google’s domain name for Argentina.

As the BBC reports, last Wednesday Google was down in Argentina and Kurona decided to try to find out why by using the Network Information Center Argentina (NIC), which manages .ar domain names in the country. To his surprise, google.com.ar appeared as available for purchase for just 270 pesos, or just under $3. The purchase was authorized and Kurona confirmed that he had taken control of the domain.

Kuron tweeted about his purchase, stating (translated) “I want to clarify that enter http://nic.ar I saw the name of http://google.com.ar available and buy it legally accordingly!”

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Companies accidentally allow domain name registrations to expire all the time, but you wouldn’t expect Google to overlook such a thing. And it turns out the company didn’t. According to Google, his .ar domain name was not supposed to expire until July, so it should never have been offered to Kurona and, more importantly, he should never have taken control of it. The incident has yet to be explained, but Google quickly regained control of the domain and is investigating how what amounts to a serious security breach may have occurred.

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