Browsing CloudApp files with Google

When you drag a file to CloudApp’s menubar app, it produces a link that you can share with whoever. While it is easy to guess “short links” and come upon random files (try http://cl.ly/AAA and change some of those letters), it becomes nearly impossible to guess URLs as the links become longer. The “long links” are 20 alphanumeric characters.

Google’s indexing, however,┬ámakes it very, very easy to browse people’s “private files”. By using the “site:” search operator, you can browse files on CloudApp, including the 20 alphanumeric character links, without needing to guess 20 characters. Not sure how Google chooses which links to show.

Try it here. The long links start appearing on the second page of results.

Is this ethical? Not really sure. It is, however, a reminder that your files are really only private if they are encrypted. At least until this rolls around.