Millennium Bug could Strike Now
London, UK, 28th April 1999 - A new study by mi2g (www.mi2g.com),
a leading internet software engineering company, is revealing a real possibility
that the Millennium Bug could cause chaos at any time. The simulations conducted
for the study are showing that organisations still not fully Y2K compliant
could be at risk of system damage or failure pre-2000.
According to DK Matai, founder of mi2g, "Time
forwarding or resetting of a network's internal clocks, through Cyber Attack
or special viruses is a major fear for non-compliant Y2K businesses, as
this accelerates the Millennium Bug forward." This scenario
is in the mi2g study entitled Corporate Cyber Warfare Tactics.
Following internal tests, mi2g discovered that time forwarding could
be achieved within a network by setting the central time server's reference
clock to 1st January 2000 or by setting an individual workstation's clock
forward, whilst disabling its synchronisation ability with the central time
server. One of the immediate effects on Y2K non-compliant systems would
be serious mal-function causing data loss/damage to customer service. Even
for those systems that are Y2K compliant, any forward clock setting may
cause software licenses, passwords, user accounts, and/or files to fail.
According to the law of network access,
the total risk is a product of the individual risks at each node of the
network and is directly proportional to the square of the accessible nodes.
In the case of networks that are linked to the internet, the total number
of vulnerable nodes can exceed 100 Million. Each of these vulnerable nodes
could be targeted by a hacker and hence the total risk of Cyber attack is
of the order of 10 to the power 16 (100 Million X 100 Million) times greater
than the individual risk to a single computer.
DK Matai emphasizes that, "Safety issues
as well as financial risks are involved. For example, major airline and
air control networks have internet access and not all are fully Y2K compliant
at present. A major car manufacturer, amongst several other organisations,
has described this problem as catastrophic. As a test, they took a production
line and re-set the clocks to 1/1/2000 as the plant was being shut down.
When they rolled the clock forward, their assembly line including the robotics
just stopped dead with no apparent way to recover."