Feeds

ICANN: Privates leaked in top-level domain land grab blunder

gTLD applications viewable by rival web biz barons

Build a business case: developing custom apps

ICANN has revealed that it took down its top-level domain application system yesterday after discovering a potentially serious data leakage vulnerability.

As El Reg reported earlier today, ICANN shut down its TLD Application System (TAS) – the web application companies use to apply for new gTLDs – due to unspecified "unusual behaviour".

The organisation has now revealed that while there was no "attack" as such, it had found that some TAS users could access data belonging to other TAS users.

"We have learned of a possible glitch in the TLD application system software that has allowed a limited number of users to view some other users’ file names and user names in certain scenarios," COO Akram Atallah said in a statement.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we took the system offline to protect applicant data," he added. "We are examining how this issue occurred and considering appropriate steps forward."

The vulnerability has potentially serious implications due to the level of secrecy surrounding the majority of new gTLD applications.

Companies in general don't want to reveal which gTLDs they are applying for while the ICANN application window is still open. If it were revealed that Coca-Cola had applied for .drink, for example, that might prompt Pepsi to file a competing application.

Because ICANN's method of last resort for resolving these so-called "contention sets" is an auction, a prematurely revealed application could therefore wind up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars – even millions of dollars – more.

It's quite possible that gTLD strings may have been included in the leaked user names and file names, though ICANN has yet to confirm the extent of this problem.

It's also not yet known which applicants had access to which other applicants' data, and whether any of the leaked information was acted upon.

The new gTLD application window was due to close yesterday at 1159 UTC, but ICANN shut down the TAS about 12 hours before the deadline after becoming aware of the vulnerability.

The filing deadline has now been extended until next Friday, but ICANN does not plan to bring the TAS back online until Tuesday, by which time it expects to have fixed the bug. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.