Feeds

Year 2010 bug wreaks havoc on German payment cards

Son of Y2K also hits SpamAssasin, Symantec

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A delayed Y2K bug has bitten hard at some 30 million holders of German debit and credit cards, making it impossible for them to use automatic teller machines and point-of-sale terminals since New Year's Day.

Multiple news agencies said the outage stemmed from card chips that couldn't recognize the year 2010. The DSGV, an association representing German banks, said engineers were working diligently to fix the problem, but a full resolution might not come until Monday.

The outage affected 20 million EC, or electronic cash, cards, which act as debit cards, and 3.5 million credit cards, according to the DSGV. A separate bank association known as BDB said about 2.5 million of its cards suffered from the same problem and another 4 million cards issued by Germany's cooperative banks were at least partially touched.

The reports are the latest to involve the inability of computers to properly handle the 2010 date. Just after midnight on New Year's Day, Symantec's Endpoint Protection Manager stopped accepting updates after it was hit by its own 2010 date bug. Soon after the first of the year, SpamAssassin began blocking huge amounts of legitimate email because they included the 2010 in their headers, a date so far off the spam filter assumed they had to be junk.

Kaspersky software also experienced massive update problems on December 30, according to support forums, but it's not clear the new year had anything to do with them.

The German payment card snafu hit a variety of banks, although customers of Deutsche Bank reportedly were not affected. More from the AFP and Dow Jones is here and here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, watchdog claims
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.