IT glitch hits domain name system
Apr 13 2012
A technical glitch has forced the abrupt shutdown of a system for letting companies and organisations propose new internet domain name suffixes.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is in charge of domain names, said some private data may have been exposed.
ICANN has been taking applications for new suffixes to join ".com" and others in use. Up to 1,000 domain name suffixes could be added each year in the most sweeping change to the domain name system since its creation in the 1980s.
The idea is to let Las Vegas hotels, casinos and other attractions congregate around ".vegas" or a company such as Canon draw customers to "cameras.canon".
The new system will also make Chinese, Japanese and Swahili versions of ".com" possible.
The application deadline had been Thursday, but ICANN decided to shut the system down early after discovering the glitch. The system will reopen on Tuesday, and the deadline has been extended to next Friday.
ICANN said the software glitch "allowed a limited number of users to view some other users' file names and user names in certain scenarios". It was not clear whether that included proprietary information on the names of the bidders and their proposed suffixes.
"Out of an abundance of caution, we took the system offline to protect applicant data," chief operating officer Akram Atallah wrote on ICANN's website. "We are examining how this issue occurred and considering appropriate steps forward."
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