Data Breach Keeps ICANN’s Dot-Anything Registration Down

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Watch this space for news on ICANN’s stalled gTLD application process

The Internet management body ICANN has said the system to apply for its forthcoming top-level domains is still out of action while it works to fix a glitch, but it hopes to publish the list of domains awarded on 31 April as planned.

The new generic top level domains (gTLDs) potentially include any word, and expand the internet’s domains beyond the current range which includes .com, .org, .edu and a number of country domains such as .uk, to allow domains such as .disney and .shop.

Delay to .London, .Wales, and .Google?

It is understood that companies such as Google and Disney want the domains .google and .disney, and countries and towns such as Wales and London are expected to apply for their respective gTLDs, at a price of $185,000.

However, last Thursday, the closing day for applications, ICANN cut off applications having spotted “unusual behaviour” on the site.

ICANN originally hoped to investigate the problem, fix it, and get the site live again on Tuesday for an extended application period up till this Friday, but the investigations have been prolonged by the discovery that some applicants’ data may have been exposed to other users.

The problem arose due to an issue with the way the system handled “interrupted deletions of file attachments”, according to the ICANN statement. “This resulted in some applicants being able to see some other applicants’ file names and user names.”

ICANN is conducting “research to determine which file names and user names were potentially viewable, as well as which applicants had the ability to see them,” according to its latest statement. The body expects to issue another statement later today, adding that an update would emerge no later than midnight (Greenwich Mean Time) on Friday, about when the site will re-open.

According to an earlier statement, the organisation is using outside experts to help fix the problem.

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