ICANN Updates On New gTLD Applicant Portal Security Breach: 60 Searches, 200 Unauthorized Access Instances

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has provided an update on its investigation into a data exposure issue in the New gTLD Applicant and GDD (Global Domains Division) portals, first reported on 1 March 2015.

In its 30 April announcement, ICANN noted its intention to disclose to affected users the identity of any user(s) that viewed their information without authorization by 27 May 2015. This activity has been completed. Specifically, ICANN:

  • Notified the users whose credentials were used to access information that did not appear to belong to them;
  • Requested these users provide an explanation of their activity; and
  • Requested these users certify that they will delete or destroy all information obtained and that they have not used and will not use the information or convey it to any third party.

In addition, ICANN has provided the affected parties with the name(s) of the user(s) whose credentials were used to view their information without their authorization or by individuals that were not officially designated by their organization to access certain data.

Investigation Results

Based on the information that ICANN has collected to date our investigation leads us to believe that over 60 searches, resulting in the unauthorized access of more than 200 records, were conducted using a limited set of user credentials.

The remaining user credentials, representing the majority of users who viewed data, were either used to:

  • Access information pertaining to another user through mere inadvertence and the users do not appear to have acted intentionally to obtain such information. These users have all confirmed that they either did not use or were not aware of having access to the information.¬† Also, they have all confirmed that they will not use any such information for any purpose or convey it to any third party; or
  • Access information of an organization with which they were affiliated. At the time of the access, they may not have been designated by that organization as an authorized user to access the information.

ICANN will continue to provide information and respond to questions from affected parties as we continue our investigation.

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