This book, originally published in 1999, describes what could have happened during the era of the famous Y2K hysteria, when computers and communications devices would have had to function when four digits were needed to use the current date instead of the two digits that were commonly used in many systems. Of course, none of the expected disasters happened and none of the Y2K terrorist plots really. Or did they? Certainly the vulnerabilities of the Hoover Dam and some NASA spacecraft control centers have been fixed, but the fixes were largely the result of general security measures taken after September 11, 2001.
This book tells the story of Y2K vulnerabilities from a retrospective viewpoint. According to Steven Musil of Cnet, the same type of problems occurred to a number of web servers, including Gawker, StumbleUpon, Yelp, FourSquare, and LinkedIn, when a single leap second was added to the Coordinated Universal Time. Although the scale of these problems is much smaller than Y2K, some parts of the problem are still with us.
In case the leap second problem occurs again, or timing of messages on UNIX servers get corrupted in 2038, or the world ends in December, 2012, the author’s favorite recipe for Shrimp with Sizzling Rice Soup has been included at the end of this book. Enjoy!