Harris wasn’t interested in the job at Google, but he decided to crack the key and send an e-mail to Google founders Brin and Page, as each other, just to show them that he was onto their game.
“I love factoring numbers,” Harris says. “So I thought this was fun. I really wanted to solve their puzzle and prove I could do it.”
In the e-mail, he plugged his personal website:
Here’s an interesting idea still being developed in its infancy:
or, if the above gives you trouble try this instead:
I think we should look into whether Google could get involved with this guy in some way. What do you think?
Harris made sure the return path for the e-mails went to his own e-mail account, so that Brin and Page could ask him how he’d cracked their puzzle. But Harris never got a response from the Google founders. Instead, two days later, he noticed that Google’s cryptographic key had suddenly changed to 2,048 bits. And he got a lot of sudden hits to his web site from Google IP addresses.