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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Some Google Intranet URLs (and a Google Apps Interface That Can Be Misunderstood)

If you’re interested in what Google intranet URLs look like, you can check out the Google Apps for Your Domain help page for itself. The full text of the help message is this:

Need help? Try searching the Help Centers for instant answers. Found a bug in Gmail? Go straight to Gmail eng by visiting go/reportgmailbug Another issue? Contact the Help Desk at http://ticket or http://guts Want to learn more about dogfood products? Visit go/discoverdogfood

How come the Google Apps admin set up this public page with seemingly intranet-related info? The answer goes back to an unclear dialog in the Google Apps program. I alerted Google security to this and while they told me they haven’t seen any problems with this so far and consider it low risk, they might change the dialog’s wording in the future. Quote from the Domain Settings page: “User support ... If your users need help, we’ll give them the following information:” (the text box to enter info follows). The wording “your users” does not clearly indicate that the page is public, and that any user can see it... and not just the users of this Google Apps domain. If you are an Apps admin, make sure to not enter anything in that box you wouldn’t want to be public. (The customized Google Apps for Your Domain logo is public too, by the way.)

[Thanks Luka and Mbegin!]


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