Well finally we have a statement from ICANN as to what happened to the TAS system that is used to accept applications for the new gTLD
“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.” said Akram Atallah Chief Operating Officer of ICANN
“Out of an abundance of caution, we took the system offline to protect applicant data. We are examining how this issue occurred and considering appropriate steps forward.”
“We apologize for any concern this may have caused and will communicate on a regular basis on our website, which can be found at http://newgtlds.icann.org
If your left with that high and dry feeling from the statement you not alone.
Yesterday all ICANN said was that:
“Recently, we received a report of unusual behavior with the operation of the TAS system. We then identified a technical issue with the TAS system software.
“ICANN is taking the most conservative approach possible to protect all applicants and allow adequate time to resolve the issue. Therefore, TAS will be shut down until Tuesday at 23:59 UTC – unless otherwise notified before that time.”
“In order to ensure all applicants have sufficient time to complete their applications during the disruption, the application window will remain open until 23:59 UTC on Friday, 20 April 2012.”
“We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.”
“If you have any questions, please contact the gTLD Customer Service Center (CSC) via the CSC portal.”
For those who made application and spend $185K just in application fees, PLUS locking up three years of operating capital, PLUS the costs of getting the applications filed PLUS a ton of other costs and fees, well lets just say they deserved better.
All through this process ICANN has rejected the idea of even giving out a total number of applications received, so now that they is this security issue where those who had access to the TAS system may have been able to see what applications others filed and what extensions others filed for, well lets just say its a .FAIL of epic proportions.
To the extent any applicant can prove that someone who viewed the “user names and files” meaning the extension they filed for already and in response filed a competing application; well yes ICANN has a problem.