How vulnerable is the internet? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Assuming the electricity & phones keep working (at least most of the time in most places) will the net stay up? I realize many individual sites and ISP's may have problems.

I'll be moving soon and may have to switch ISP's. Any ideas on how to choose one that's more likely to be OK ?

-- biker (, October 02, 1999


#1. Bookmark favorite addresses with IP numbers NOT domain names (example: =

#2. Assume that if TSHTF, the net may be "closed" for security purposes (keep the truth from you; where safe places are; what is happening to your relatives/friends)

#3. I'm not sure if a BIG ISP (Internet service provider) is the best way to go or a "little guy". Might be best to have two accounts.

#4. Nobody knows, but it may be a choopy experience, like poor reception from a distant AM radio.

#5. Have good shortwave/Ham/AM radio on hand.

#6. Could be a bump-in-the-road at rollover.

-- dw (, October 02, 1999.

I dunno,Jeanne,it depends on how much of corporate america survives

-- fly (fly@the.wall), October 02, 1999.

How does one find IP #s ?...Tim

-- Tim Johnson (, October 02, 1999.

Here's one of the more in-depth articles I've seen about the Internet and Y2K:


[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

Paris, Tuesday, August 17, 1999

The Internet May Be the Biggest Question Mark of Them All

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By Thomas Fuller International Herald Tribune

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As companies and governments rush to make sure their computers will not suffer meltdowns when the year 2000 arrives, experts say there is a large unanswered question in the battle against the so-called millennium bug: the effects on the world's largest and most complex computer network, the Internet.

Partly because the global network is so diffuse - no one is in charge of it - Internet specialists say it is practically impossible to know or to test whether certain parts of the system will crash, whether electronic mail that crosses the globe will be lost or suffer long delays or whether users will be able to reach World Wide Web sites that offer on-line trading and shopping in the first days of the New Year.

One thing is clear: Many of the basic elements of the Internet - components that go by names such as routers and switches - have been identified as ''noncompliant '' and thus could malfunction if they are not fixed or replaced before the new year arrives.

Cisco Systems Inc., the world's leading Internet component supplier, lists 25 products on its Web site that are not compliant and a further 31 that the company does not plan on testing because it regards them as too old to be serviced. Some of these products were sold as recently as three years ago. Many are still in use.

Experts who met in Washington last month to discuss the problem say the network's key ''backbone'' components have been tested and will function but that large parts of the Internet are beyond the purview of U.S. regulators.

The state of preparedness in the United States is crucial for Internet users around the globe because an overwhelming majority of Internet traffic passes through the United States. Even e-mail sent from two neighboring countries in Asia, for instance, is often routed through the United States.

But the bottom line for Internet users outside the United States is that even if the U.S. portion of the network is running, if the machinery that links them to the network - their local ''service provider'' - goes down, they lose their access.

White House officials, who were the hosts of the Internet conference last month, are scheduled to announce their findings and recommendations Tuesday. Those who attended the meetings in Washington say the most vulnerable points of the global network are:


The large ''servers'' managed by each country that assign Internet addresses such as ''my'' for Malaysia and ''it'' for Italy. There are 252 such servers in the world, including ones that manage addresses that end in ''edu'' or ''com.''

Bill Manning, a researcher at the University of Southern California who was charged at the White House conference with tracking the readiness of these servers, said ''a good chunk'' of them were Y2K compliant but ''a good chunk of them are not.'' He declined to be more specific.


International telephone links. A recent survey by the Network Reliability and Interoperability Council, a group made up of top executives from U.S. telephone companies, found that 62 percent of countries with large volumes of telephone traffic were perceived as ''high risk'' in terms of Y2K problems. Only 18 percent were considered low risk. These are just perceptions of people in the industry - and thus not based on hard data. Nonetheless, any failure between international phone links could impair Internet service as well as the reliability of an old-fashioned telephone call.


Accounting software used by Internet service providers to monitor the usage of their customers. Noncompliant software might not affect access to the Internet but could foul up billing.


Software used to distribute passwords. Accounts could automatically expire if the computer reads the date incorrectly.


The threat of ''millennium'' computer viruses spread through the network.


Strain on the system posed by increased usage: New Year's greetings sent by e-mail and multimedia events related to the New Year on the World Wide Web could clog the network.

Vinton Cerf, senior vice president at MCI WorldCom Inc., who is known as the father of the Internet for his pioneering work on the network, said he did not anticipate ''major problems'' in the United States related to the millennium bug but that outside North America ''the risk seems higher.'' There is ''anecdotal evidence,'' he said, that some countries ''have been somewhat less attentive and concerned about Y2K preparedness.''

Y2K is a commonly used abbreviation for the Year 2000 bug. The glitch arises when computers fail to process dates beyond Dec. 31, 1999, because of the way they were programmed.

Experts say Internet-related Y2K issues have until now been overshadowed by more pressing concerns such as potential blackouts and failures of computers aboard aircraft.

''If the power grid goes out, you're going to be worried about other things than, 'Can I get my Internet connection?''' Mr. Manning said. ''People generally don't depend on the Internet for life-and-death situations. It'll be like the television going out for a while.''

Although not life-threatening, any large-scale failure of the Internet could affect the lives of millions of people, especially those doing business on the Net and those living away from their home countries.

In the event of Y2K-related failures, people who use the network to communicate with families or colleagues might not be able to do so for several days.

The same applies to overseas company offices that use the Internet to send messages and data to their headquarters.

Experts say the degree of risk for an Internet user depends in large part on the individual's Internet ''service provider,'' the company that offers access to the network, known as an ISP.

The worry is that some smaller service providers - especially those in developing countries - might not have the financial resources or technical knowledge to properly check their systems for millennium bugs.

''To my own knowledge and expectations, the packets will make it,'' said Geoff Huston, the technical manager at Australia's Telstra Internet service, referring to the bundles of data that circulate around the world delivering things such as e-mail. ''But whether the machine on the other end is doing the right thing is something I can't answer with as much surety.''

The worst-case scenario for Internet users around the world? ''We just don't know,'' said Izumi Aizu, head of Asia Network Research in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who represented Asia at the Washington meeting. ''There are too many elements that make up the Internet.''

''What will the impact be? I have no idea in the world,'' said Dave Farber, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the world's leading experts on the Internet. ''There are going to be some really strange events. There will be some places that will be cut off. They may disconnect certain countries until those countries get their act together. How long that will last I don't know. I don't think anyone does.''

Internet users may get a foretaste of Y2K confusion on Aug. 24, when, for reasons not directly related to the millennium bug, the clocks in some satellites that carry Internet traffic will reset themselves to zero. That could affect the way computers linked to the Internet register such things as financial transactions.


-- Linkmeister (, October 02, 1999.

Some of you seem to think the Internet is owned by the government and corporations and that if they don't want it to function they will close it down. Not so! The only thing that can stop me from being on the net is MY power company, MY ISP, and the phone company they get the connection from. These conditions apply to each individual user. If the government has security breaches through the Internet then they will have to disconnect their systems from the net, not "close it down".

-- @ (@@@.@), October 02, 1999.

Internic (now Network Soultions) was started and still owned/ controlled by "EX" NSA guys. Internet traffic is routed and CAN be controlled (example: .mil and .gov could be only activated). NSA knows (snoops) ALL can do ANYTHING they wish, ANYWHERE (as far as communications - that is their (top, top secret job!).

Assume everything, assume nothing.

Bottom line: Unless the world/USA's computers/tele/power is a BITR, anything can/or will happen.

-- dw (, October 02, 1999.


Of course the government can "snoop" on the Internet, they always have and always will. That is entirely different from closing it down, which is not only illegal even for the government but would knock thousands of private businesses out of commision which have become a large portion of the economy. To entirely shut it down would not only guarantee a depression, it would guarantee a war between business and gov. Ain't gonna happen, no way in hell.

-- @ (@@@.@), October 02, 1999.

"Ain't gonna happen, no way in hell. "

Glad to know there is still optimism. I'm still at may not happen. It all depends on how hard the market crashes. If it goes big time, then all bets are off. People's lives and their money and "legality" are already expendable. I don't have a clear, crystal ball to know how far things will go. As I drive down the street, I think not. When I get caught in a traffic jam, I wonder.

-- dw (, October 02, 1999.

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