One-time HAC Modules turn clock to 2000

 e-risk analysis

London, UK, 09:30 GMT 28th October 1999 - mi2g software has had two serious cases in October of clients being attacked by one-time Hacker Activated Code (HAC) modules that bring the clock forward to different dates in January 2000. The computers attacked have been primarily running Windows NT, 98 & 95 and MS Office applications. Some of the other computers on the network have been Linux and Solaris. All appropriate authorities are being informed.

The time forwarding is being achieved by the one-time HAC modules within the attacked computer networks by setting an individual workstation or local network's clock forward, whilst disabling its synchronisation ability with the central time server.

One of the immediate effects on Y2k non-compliant computers and peripherals has been serious mal-function. Even for those systems that are Y2k compliant the forward clock setting has caused between 25% to 40% of software licenses, passwords, user accounts and files to fail.

The head of the SIPS™ team has made the following comments:

Not just financial risks but serious safety issues are involved. For example, major airline and air control networks are prone to malevolent access and not all of them around the world are fully Y2k compliant at present.

If a malevolent employee, virus writer or hacker ends up forwarding the system clock by say three months to 28th January 2000 using these one-time HAC modules or other mechanisms, this appears to trigger:

1. Immediate shut down for Y2k non-compliant systems;

2. Partial operability for Y2k ready systems that have monthly or bimonthly expiry dates linked with software licenses, passwords, user accounts and files.

At present, system clocks investigated are especially vulnerable and need to be guarded. As Y2k clock tampering one-time HAC modules (Hacker Activated Code) continue to proliferate, time forwarding of a network's internal clocks is a high risk especially for non-compliant Y2k businesses as this accelerates the Millennium Bug forward straightaway.


1. mi2g software presented seminars on e-risk in London at Richards Butler on 4th August, Hammond Suddards on 8th September and Reuters on 27th October. A total of 320 CEOs, CTOs, COOs and Partners from USA, Germany, Japan and Britain have attended the events. We presented an update on all major e-risk incidents and trends within the escalating threat to large on-line businesses, financial institutions and multi-nationals. Future seminars on e-risk are planned for November 99.

2. Downstream Liability™ is the real possibility of litigation arising from customers and businesses that have bought a product or a service from a vendor in good faith and have surrendered personal and financial information about themselves for a declared purpose only.

3. The total cost of servicing Cyber Warfare incidents worldwide is likely to exceed £12.5 Billion in 1999 according to mi2g software. In the last ten months, there have been three major virus attacks and several full scale Cyber Attacks. Melissa in March, Chernobyl in April and the fatal ExploreZip in June cost corporations huge unplanned and unbudgeted resources. Variants of these three and other lethal viruses have been emerging at a steady rate to date.

4. mi2g software (www.mi2g.com) is a leading edge London based e-commerce enterprise specialising in e-risk management™ and bespoke security architecture™.

5. e-risk™, e-risk analysis™, e-risk management™, How to manage e-risk?™, Downstream Liability™, e-risk insurance™, Bespoke Security Architecture™ are trade marks of mi2g software™ (mi2g.com).

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