[unisog] Getting things deleted from Google's cache

Russell Fulton r.fulton at auckland.ac.nz
Thu Apr 6 00:09:54 GMT 2006

	We had an incident where a file was exposed to the Internet on a web
server that should not have been visible outside. The problem was first
discovered back in December and the firewall settings changed so the the
server was no longer accessible from outside.  Everyone heaved a sight
of relief and went back to sleep.  Last week we found out that the file
was still available via Google!  Ouch!!

It turns out that Google will delete pages from the cache if and only if
it gets a 404 from the url (I assume there must be some timeout ???).
By simply removing the server from the net we did not get the file out
of Google's cache and it sat there for four months.

We are now 'resurrecting' a skeleton server to expire all material from
Google's cache.

One other thing I found ( thanks to "es0" on #unisog) is the url to
request Google to remove items from the cache urgently.  This still
requires that Google gets a 404 for the url and takes "3 to 5 days".


This site also has information on how to use meta tags to control what
Google indexes.  I wish Google had prominent links to this url on their
contact and security pages, it would have saved me quite some time.

This information was published in the spring issue of 2600.

Cheers, Russell

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