How The Return Of The Y2K Bug Wreaked Havoc On Computers

the Y2K bug

It is interesting that now that a new decade has begun, we are already dealing with a problem from the beginning of the last decade.

Before the ball dropped in the year 2000, there were major concerns over a bug in computer software.

People around the world were dreading the day.

There were some that believed it was the end of the world and that the modern day society that we were enjoying would then would cease to exist.

the Y2K bug

the Y2K bug

The Y2K Bug

The bug was known as the Y2k bug.

Now we seem to being having a repeat of the situation, only without the panic and the media exploitation of the problem.

The original Y2K problem dealt with computer programs only using 2 digits to represent the year.

It was felt that when the year rolled over into 2000, there would be major crashes on several computer systems.

Fortunately, this never materialized.

There were problems with the bug in a lot of computer systems around the world but nothing that would cause worldwide devastation.

The problem was overstated and a lot of people felt silly.

Now there is a new version of the same bug that seems to be causing trouble for certain computer systems.

The Y2K10 Problem

An example of a company whose software was hurt by this new version of the bug was security company Symantec.

Their software called Endpoint Protection Manager was affected by this problem and would not update any virus definitions accepted after this date.

This of course caused concern for the paying customers of this software.

Symantec was able to issue a patch before the problem became too big.

Before they were able to issue the patch, they decided to issue updates to the software by tricking the bug.

They would not release new definitions that had the date over December 29, 2009.

Definitions were released but they had a false date on them.

This allowed them to keep virus definitions updated on systems that were not patched.

There were also problems reported in Germany.

There were over 30 million people that were not able to access their bank accounts through the atm because of the bug.

The same people were also not able to purchase anything with their cards at any places that used POS machines. (POS stands for Point of Sales.)

Until the machines were patched, all of these people had to do something which was done on a regular basis 20 years ago.

They actually had to go to the bank and take their money out.

We thought that we had the Y2K problem dealt with, but obviously not.

It seems that it is going to show its head every now and then.

We are still dealing with older systems that were supposed to be replaced years ago.

The people who created the software for these machines never thought that they would be still in use thirty years later.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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