“Software Bug” Leaves Hundreds of .KE Name-Servers Inaccessible

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The Morning of January 19 was quite an interesting one but not so for name-server admins who realized that their websites were not accessible. Hundreds, of websites with the .KE second-level domain name, including safaricom.co.ke and telkom.co.ke, were left in the dark after a bug in one of KeNIC’s software deleted over 1000 name-servers.

KeNIC (Kenya National Information Center) is the administrator of the .KE domains and according to them, a software provided by CoCCA (Council of Country Code Administrators) was the cause of the misery that web admins had to go through in the early morning. In a press statement, KeNIC says that it used CoCCA’s registry software to aid in the Sunrise Period of the new .KE Country-Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) that it recently launched.

The launch of the ccTLD was divided into different phases, the first stage being the Sunrise period where trademark holders were allowed to submit requests to register domains that match their trademarks. This is where KeNIC employed CoCCA’s Sunrise module to help them approve domain names submitted.

After the Sunrise period, KeNIC had to delete all the rejected domains and that is when disaster struck. As per the presser, this process triggered an erroneous bulk delete of 1120 name-servers on the evening of January 17, 2018. “The error was as a result of a software bug in the recent version of CoCCA,” reads part of the press release.

KeNIC says that by 18th of January, they had recovered the deleted name-servers. They then started propagation and updated the name-servers on the 19th of January. As per KeNIC, this process officially closed on the same day at 5PM, restoring order and functionality to all affected .KE name-servers.