January 03, 2022 – 10:19 am Clock
Programming errors caused mail failure
By Patrick Rosing
A relatively simple programming error caused a global mail failure earlier this year. For many, this will bring back memories of the Y2K error. To address this, last year – at least in the index – was slightly extended.
Do you remember the millennium bug, also known as the “Y2K bug”? At the time, shortly before the start of the Millennium, with the change to 2000, there was concern that, at worst, the entire tech world would cease to function. Reason: In many older programs, two-year years were used for memory reasons, and with the new year it was feared that computers would change from 99 to 00 and then fail. Nothing happened in the end due to extensive precautionary measures.
The current glitch at the beginning of the year may be reminiscent of some Y2K error, which later generated rounds as “2022 error” or “Y2K22 error”. What happened? Exactly at the beginning of the year, mail servers running on Microsoft Exchange failed worldwide, resulting in no emails being delivered. Administrators received the following error message: “‘2201010001’ could not be extended.”
Microsoft: Malware-scan-engine problem
Microsoft has now acknowledged the error and wrote that there is a problem with the malware scan machine to check emails for malware. However, this indicates an error in the date verification at the beginning of the year and not an error in the anti-virus machine. “This is not a problem with the malware scanning or malware engine. It is a security issue. Verification of the signature file version can lead to malfunction of the malware engine, which means that the message will get stuck in the queues,” the company writes. With Exchange 2016 and 2019 “only” self-hosted servers will be affected.
Microsoft has basically extended 2021 to solve the problem
The reason is to shake your head or provoke a smile among the experts. Because: As IT expert Joseph Roosean explains on Twitter, the problem goes to Microsoft’s programming error. Accordingly, invalid data type with Int32 was used for the corresponding version number of the new signature file at the beginning of the year. The maximum value of int32 variables can be 231 or 2,147,483,647. However, the new value starts with the last two digits of the 22nd year, followed by the month and day and the four-digit number. It is 2.201.010.001 and keeps higher than the maximum. However, as programming experts say, developers need to be aware of this.
The first solution is to turn off the malware, which is not recommended for security reasons. Microsoft has now released a new solution. Version number has been extended with the previous year 21 via script. New version number 2112330001 dated December 33, 2021. As for the calendar, it’s nonsense, the program does not care. The main thing is that it works properly.
Note: This article first appeared on stern.de.