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Y2.01K bug trips up Symantec

Schoolboy error causes red faces

Security for virtualized datacentres

Symantec's Endpoint Protection Manager has been hit by a classic date bug and fell over at the end of the year, accepting no definition updates dated since then.

Symantec have issued a statement, which states that: "An issue has been identified in the Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager (SEPM) server whereby all types of SEP definition content [AV/AS, IPS] with a date greater than December 31, 2009 11:59pm are considered to be 'out of date'."

Until the bug is fixed, Symantec has a bandaid strategy: "Symantec Response will continue to publish Symantec Endpoint Protection antivirus and other definitions with the date 12/31/2009, and will only increase the revision number of the definition. More specifically the last certified definitions that was published on December 31, 2009 was “12/31/2009 rev. 041” version. The next certified definitions to be published will have a revision number greater than 041."

Symantec assures customers that: "there are no changes that a customer administrator needs to apply in order for the above mitigation to be successful."

Also, "the SEPM Dashboard by default will not display that the definitions are out of date. The default for this setting is “10” days... If SEPM Notification for “out of date definitions” has been enabled then it is possible that the prescribed threshold has exceeded and a notification may be triggered."

Symentec's SEPM product team is developing a proper fix for the problem and burning the midnight oil to get it out as fast as possible.

El Reg thanks our contact who said this incident: "Reminds me of your recent article about cheap and dirty Y2K bug fixes where some unscrupulous programmers put in a simple if <10 = 20xx otherwise the date is 19xx." Indeed. ®

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