updated 7/7/2008 9:05:29 AM ET 2008-07-07T13:05:29

This doesn't sound good: The nonprofit agency in charge of the Internet's addresses recently lost track of its own.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, said it happened when an Internet registration company it oversees got fooled into transferring the domain names to someone else.

The attack was quickly noticed, and ICANN's domain names were restored within 20 minutes. However, because many Internet directories retain information for a day or two, visitors could have been redirected to an unauthorized site for longer.

ICANN said Thursday that new, unspecified security measures should prevent such attacks in the future. The organization also said it was reviewing other security procedures.

The domain names hijacked were ICANN.com and IANA.com — for the ICANN subdivision known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Visitors to those addresses are normally redirected automatically to the organization's main sites at ICANN.org and IANA.org, neither of which was affected by the attack.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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