The Millennium bug could hit home next year - or rather at work, with chips embedded in office building systems found to be vulnerable by systems and services company ICL.
The UK based company is issuing the warning following tests conducted on its own premises, which revealed potential failures in a number of critical systems.
?We identified potential bugs in three critical systems: within certain PABX systems which could have left us without working telephones; in building access systems which could have compromised our security and in fire alarm panels that if faulty could have exposed our personnel to fire risks,? said Andy Penman, ICL?s building infrastructure manager.
ICL discovered the problems following a programme it began this January to ensure the building systems across its 347 offices worldwide were Year 2000 compliant. This involved auditing and testing some 30,000 embedded chips in everything from coffee vending machines to closed circuit cameras, as well as writing to equipment manufacturers for compliance assurances on their equipment.
Among the problems ICL discovered were fire alarm panels with incorrect dates entered, raising fears they could fail before the Year 2000 deadline.
Penman said that while ICL has allocated enough budgets to replace such systems, the fear for other companies is they will not be able to replace mission critical systems as they won?t have budgeted for it.
?Really, the issue isn?t simply about two-digit dates and computer codes; it?s about business continuity and managing risk. Companies of all sizes need to start contingency planning and prioritising before its too late,? he said.
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