ICANN eggfaced after publishing dot-word biz overlords' personal info

Bumbling wordseller opens CANN of whup-ass on self


After proudly revealing the details of almost 2,000 new generic top-level domain applications, red-faced ICANN was today forced to yank the whole lot after applicants complained that their home addresses had been published by mistake.

ICANN published the partial text of 1,930 gTLD bids – each of which carried a $185,000 application fee – during a splashy event in London on Wednesday.

Only 30 of the 50 questions in each application were supposed to be revealed; details about financial performance, technical security and personal contact information were supposed to be redacted.

But ICANN accidentally also published the full contact information of each bid's primary and secondary contact – including in many cases their home addresses.

These named individuals were were in several confirmed cases also the senior officers and directors of the company applying.

The Applicant Guidebook, the bible for the ICANN new gTLD process, specifically stated that home addresses would not be published.

“This was an oversight and the files have been pulled down,” ICANN’s manager of gTLD communications Michele Jourdan said in an email. “We are working on bringing them back up again without this information.”

Some applicants said they notified ICANN about the breach as early as Wednesday afternoon, but it was not until El Reg called for comment late last night that the documents were taken down.

As of 8am today the applications have been republished with the offending data removed.

For many of the big brand names applying for new gTLDs, the fact that they had to file personal data about their officers and directors – needed for ICANN's background checks – was a much higher barrier to the programme than the $185,000 fee.

“Many of our customers were reticent to put their information forward and needed a lot of reassuring,” one major new gTLD consultant told us. “They are going to be really, really livid about this.”

Other applicants, such as those applying for potentially controversial strings, have also expressed a security concern after their officers' addresses were published.

It's not the first security problem to hit the ICANN programme. Its bespoke TLD Application System software was taken down for six weeks after a vulnerability was discovered that exposed some bidders' secret application data to other applicants.

ICANN also came in for criticism from Arabic speakers during its “Reveal Day” event in King's Cross on Wednesday. Projecting a scrolling list of the applied-for gTLDs onto the stage backdrop, the organisation inadvertently spelled every one of the Arabic-script strings backwards. Multi-lingual domain name expert Khaled Fattal of the Multilingual Internet Group told us that many in the Arab world found this insulting, as well as commercially irritating.

With so many technical snafus in the first six months of the programme, many ICANN watchers are nervous about the organisation's ability to carry out its controversial “digital archery” process, which will be used to batch applications for evaluation purposes. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Venezuelan cardiologist charged with designing and selling ransomware
    If his surgery was as bad as his opsec, this chap has caused a lot of trouble

    The US Attorney’s Office has charged a 55-year-old cardiologist with creating and selling ransomware and profiting from revenue-share agreements with criminals who deployed his product.

    A complaint [PDF] filed on May 16th in the US District Court, Eastern District of New York, alleges that Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez – aka “Nosophoros,” “Aesculapius” and “Nebuchadnezzar” – created a ransomware builder known as “Thanos”, and ransomware named “Jigsaw v. 2”.

    The self-taught coder and qualified cardiologist advertised the ransomware in dark corners of the web, then licensed it ransomware to crooks for either $500 or $800 a month. He also ran an affiliate network that offered the chance to run Thanos to build custom ransomware, in return for a share of profits.

    Continue reading
  • China reveals its top five sources of online fraud
    'Brushing' tops the list, as quantity of forbidden content continue to rise

    China’s Ministry of Public Security has revealed the five most prevalent types of fraud perpetrated online or by phone.

    The e-commerce scam known as “brushing” topped the list and accounted for around a third of all internet fraud activity in China. Brushing sees victims lured into making payment for goods that may not be delivered, or are only delivered after buyers are asked to perform several other online tasks that may include downloading dodgy apps and/or establishing e-commerce profiles. Victims can find themselves being asked to pay more than the original price for goods, or denied promised rebates.

    Brushing has also seen e-commerce providers send victims small items they never ordered, using profiles victims did not create or control. Dodgy vendors use that tactic to then write themselves glowing product reviews that increase their visibility on marketplace platforms.

    Continue reading
  • Oracle really does owe HPE $3b after Supreme Court snub
    Appeal petition as doomed as the Itanic chips at the heart of decade-long drama

    The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Oracle's appeal to overturn a ruling ordering the IT giant to pay $3 billion in damages for violating a decades-old contract agreement.

    In June 2011, back when HPE had not yet split from HP, the biz sued Oracle for refusing to add Itanium support to its database software. HP alleged Big Red had violated a contract agreement by not doing so, though Oracle claimed it explicitly refused requests to support Intel's Itanium processors at the time.

    A lengthy legal battle ensued. Oracle was ordered to cough up $3 billion in damages in a jury trial, and appealed the decision all the way to the highest judges in America. Now, the Supreme Court has declined its petition.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022