Ask.com server status page

The Ask.com search engine went through some sort of technical issue late last night, as its servers were exposing the internal Apache server status page, revealing recently processed search queries.

The issue, spotted by SEO expert Paul Shapiro, lasted for a few hours but was eventually fixed by Ask.com staff.

During a short period of time, users could visit the page ask.com/server-status and go through a list of recently processed HTTP requests. No HTTPS requests were listed.

The issue also affected localized Ask.com servers, such as uk.ask.com/server-status, us.ask.com/server-status, de.ask.com/server-status, and so on.

The search queries didn't include any type of sensitive user information, but only search terms. The reason is that most search queries were rerouted through other servers, and all origin IPs belonged to Ask.com's internal network.

A copy of the server status page, including some search queries, can still be viewed via Google's search engine cache. Some of the weirdest search queries were collected by users in a HackerNews thread. As you'd expect, the server page included plenty of searches for porn.

Apache server status pages are usually used during troubleshooting operations, and it's very likely that staffers were using it for ongoing debug operations and forgot to take it down after they finished.