Google says ISP glitch exposes Gmail data in Kuwait from News.com has confirmed reports that a Gmail user in Kuwait has inadvertently accessed about 30 Gmail accounts that were not his. Supposedly, he also accessed an email that had “keycodes for some embassy gate.”
Whose fault is this? Not Google! A Kuwaiti ISP was having some major caching issues, which results in people seeing other people’s content when accessing the same URL.
Have you ever gone to a web page on your computer and noticed that it was showing old content? That is a web page’s cache. Typically holding down the shift and refresh key will force the page to reload and not use the browser’s local cache. ISPs also use caching to speed up web page delivery to their users. Some pages, such as Gmail, should not be cached at the ISP level. When they are, if one person goes to a URL, it will cache the results of that URL and show it to the next person who accesses that URL.
Scary stuff. The issue was reportedly fixed on Wednesday.