ICANN, the US-based organisation that manages the internet's addressing system, has taken down a recently introduced system for allocating new top-level domain names after a security bug was uncovered.
"We have learned of a possible glitch in the TLD [top level domain name] application system software that has allowed a limited number of users to view some other users' file names and user names in certain scenarios," wrote ICANN chief operating officer Akram Atallah in a statement.
The organisation has extended the deadline by seven days for applicants for the new top-level domains to give them extra time to submit their fees.
"No application data has been lost from those who have already submitted applications, so it should not pose problems for existing applicants," ICANN told Computing today.
It added: "The deadline is being extended until 11:59pm GMT on 20 April, to give applicants the time they would have had if we had not shut down the application system to allow for the diagnoses, any possible repair and subsequent testing of the system."
The change to the top-level domain system will enable customisable suffixes, so that companies and organisations – and rich individuals – could have their own suffixes. For example, publisher Incisive Media could have its own top-level domain, enabling www.computing.co.uk to become www.computing.incisive.
The new domains, however, will not be cheap. Users first need to submit a $5,000 (£3,140) registration fee followed by a $180,000 (£113,000) evaluation fee to complete the application.