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Microsoft has fixed a Y2K-style bug that broke Exchange email


Microsoft begins 2022 with flashbacks to the mistakes of the year 2000. sleeping computer Reports are that the company has released a temporary fix for a bug that disrupted email delivery for on-premises Exchange 2016 and 2019 servers on New Year’s Day. As users discovered, Exchange was trying to store version date checks for its antivirus scan engine in a 32-bit integer variable – a big problem when any date from January 1, 2022 onwards is too large. Any new scans crashed the malware engine and left the email stuck in a queue.

Emergency Repair uses a PowerShell script to pause two services, replace older antivirus engine files with newer ones that use a new numeric sequence, and restart processes. The fix requires manual input and can take a long time to implement for larger companies, but an automated solution is in development.

This should not affect other Exchange clients. The timing is also “perfect” as the weekend has likely limited the demand for email. The company’s IT managers may not have wanted to roll out the 2022 patch servers, and it’s unclear why Microsoft didn’t anticipate a history problem with software released just a few years ago. Whatever the reason, this serves as a clear lesson about anticipating the errors of history.

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