For many, the New Year has been a time to spend with family and friends and a time to form loose, hopeful pacts in the form of New Year’s resolutions. For system administrators in charge of Exchange servers, it was a completely different story where the Microsoft Exchange servers could not properly process the new date, and therefore could not process mail.
The first social report on this was thrown at 1AM EDT from Reddit user /u/FST-LANE who Suggest that Microsoft released a bad update, named “220101001”. This was supposed to be a scheduled correction to allow the new date to be processed, but it didn’t go as planned. /u/FST-LANE wrote: “I see a bunch of errors from the FIPFS service which says: Cannot convert ‘220101001’ to long”.
This corresponds to Reports from Marius Sandbo, director of the Norwegian company Sopra Steria, who issued a detailed summary of the case. Reported that Microsoft Exchange servers stopped processing mail together because they weren’t ready to handle today’s date. It states, “The reason for this is that Microsoft uses a signed int32 for the date and the new value 2.201.010.001 is higher than the maximum value of the ‘long’ int of 2.147.483.647.”
The most disturbing part about this is the temporary solution. In order to resume mail processing, System administrator disables malware scanning on their exchange servers, which leaves its users, and possibly the servers themselves, vulnerable to attack.
The error affects Exchange Server 2013. 2016 and 2019.