Y2K 'repairs' may lead to billion-dollar thefts

Don't be surprised if crackers make off with at least one electronic heist in the $US1 billion range by taking advantage of the year Y2K problem, according to a new report from Gartner Group.

Gartner believes that contractors and programmers hired by companies to make Y2K fixes may have left "trapdoors" to move money between accounts.

"The likely perpetrator would be a highly skilled software engineer who has worked on Y2K remediation efforts and understands both computer systems and the underlying business processes," Gartner said in a statement Friday.

"...The worst-case scenario for theft would include a highly skilled software engineer involved with Y2K remediation who feels unrecognized or unappreciated."

An opportunity for theft could occur when a system crashes and repairs are made by a single software engineer without usual oversight and review, Gartner said.

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