Feeds

US Senate Y2K Committee underwhelmed by preparations

Does the buck stop on 1/1/00?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Widespread Y2K catastrophes are unlikely, but the number of non-fatal inconveniences and service interruptions caused by computer stuff-ups will be far more numerous than anticipated, according to a report released today by Senate Y2K Committee Chairman Robert Bennett (R--Utah). The chief problem is widespread readiness self-reporting, which the Committee likens to "letting students grade their own tests." Certainly a fair number of the rosy reports we've been getting don't bear a close examination. The Committee notes, for example, that while the power industry cheerfully reports itself to be 99 per cent ready, only 60 per cent of electric utilities have submitted themselves to outside review, only 25 per cent have actually tested their fixes, and only 24 per cent have disclosed the actual details of their preparations. And this from an industry the Committee regards as among the best prepared. Among the worst prepared are health care, especially the 911 emergency phone network, small businesses and educational institutions. Numerous 911 "answering points" remain unprepared for the rollover; a mere 37 per cent of schools and universities were compliant at last tally; and "nearly half of small- and medium-sized businesses are taking a wait-and-see approach to Y2K," the Committee finds. The Committee confirmed Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's optimistic assessment of the US financial sector, as The Register reported yesterday. The Fed has made extra currency available, based on an estimate that all Americans will withdraw an average of US$500 in cash just before the rollover. The credit market looks healthy, and so far producers show no signs of rushing to stockpile inventories. The news gets worse on the overseas front, with several of America's largest trading partners, China, Russia and Italy, racking up some of the lowest scores on the Y2K report card. The overall state of preparation in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and South America is alarmingly poor. Furthermore, oil-producing nations, some of which are barely developed, will be especially vulnerable. "Severe disruptions to crucial supply chains are likely to occur," and may well slow the wheels of international commerce for an extended time. We note that stock, bond and currency profiteers in the most developed countries like to panic in the face of minor threats, and can often turn financial glitches among vulnerable countries into major economic catastrophes once the herd gets spooked and stampedes hysterically towards the nearest point of exit. Courage, patience and steady nerves will be the best vaccine against a global Y2K financial meltdown; but, as the behaviour of investors in Asian markets illustrated in 1997-98, such attributes are rare among their kind. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.