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Published 2021-09-29
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Why Will Most Smartphones And Computers Stop Working On September 30th, 2021?!

Probably no one can now imagine life without the Internet. Thanks to it we work, communicate with friends, spend our free time surfing the web. However, on September 30, which is tomorrow, many people will not be able to use the Internet on their computers or smartphones, because of the so-called blackout, which can stop the flow of data in millions of devices around the world. Is some sort of hacking attack to blame? Well, no, but even so, some computer-themed sites are pointing out that the "blackout" could have disastrous consequences. What exactly will happen on September 30? What devices could be disabled? Read to the end to find out how to avoid problems in the coming days.

The Millennium Bug

The Millennium Bug

The computer apocalypse was supposed to happen back in 2000, all because of the so-called millennium bug. It was not a dangerous virus, as the name might suggest, but a problem resulting from the recording of the data on computers. Developers of the first PCs, in order to save data in memory, introduced an abbreviated notation of the date, in which the year was presented by two digits, instead of four. For example, 1934 was written as 34 and 1956 as 56, but there was an oversight in this system - computers could read the year 2000 as 1900 because both ended with a pair of zeros. Because of this, it was feared that when the new millennium arrived, there would be a worldwide breakdown of systems, loss of data, or even stoppage of factories and air traffic. In a word, the apocalypse! In addition, the system update could not occur automatically, so when on December 31, 1999, people on New Year's Eve parties were impatiently waiting for the stroke of midnight, IT companies were preparing for disaster. However... it didn't come, computers worked fine and no millennium bug harmed them. Unfortunately, more than two decades later, the risk of another computer apocalypse has emerged and millions of devices - smartphones, laptops, or consoles - may shut down as early as September 30 this year. Read more on to find out more!

The Millennium Bug 1

Internet blackout

Experts already warned a year ago that in 2021 there may be a global problem with access to the network and by the so-called "blackout" devices such as smart TVs may stop working. Exactly on September 30 security certificates embedded in electronic devices will expire, which will cut off their access to the Internet. We are talking about certificates IdentTrust DST Root CA X3, issued by the Let's Encrypt organization. Their task is to encrypt the connection between the device and the Internet and thanks to this nobody can steal the users' data during the transfer.

Internet blackout

Expiration of IdentTrust DST Root CA X3 certificate

IdentTrust DST Root CA X3 is the root certificate currently used by Let's Encrypt. It has been in place since September 2000 providing a secure connection to servers. It has been used in millions of devices using the Internet, but now it has to be replaced by a new type of certificate ISGR Root X1. The old type will expire exactly on September 30, 2021, and with it, several types of devices will be left without access to the network. Which ones? The answer is on the next page…

Expiration of IdentTrust DST Root CA X3 certificate

Electronic devices without Internet

Users of iPhones and iPads running iOS 9 or lower may notice the hardware malfunction. Smartphones with Android versions older than 2.3 Gingerbread. The problem will also affect computers running Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and all Macs with a version lower than 10.12.0. If you play on Playstation 3 or Playstation 4 with software version 5.00 or older from September 30, you probably will not be able to use them. We also have bad news for owners of smart TVs more than 5 years old and not equipped with the new ISGR Root X1 certification, they too will not be able to access the network, nor will Nintendo 3 ds or outdated Android devices. Can this be prevented?

Electronic devices without Internet

Update required

In order for devices supported by the current IdentTrust DST Root CA X3 certificate to function properly it is necessary to update the software especially in older types of devices. The expiration of the certificate may affect electronics that are not regularly updated, do not have automatic update systems, especially smartphones with outdated software versions. Their users sometimes do not realize that their equipment must be updated in order to work properly. It's not the first time that a security certificate has expired, most recently in May of this year the AddTrust certificate stopped working, and because of that many people using software from Stripe or Roku lost access to the Internet. And in order to avoid this, an update available on these companies' websites was just what was needed. However, it turns out that a non-working security certificate can especially hurt phone users. Read more...

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Who can sleep safely?

Microsoft, the provider of the most commonly installed Windows operating system in computers, continues to make sure that security certificates are kept up to date. So if you are a user and do not have a system like Windows XP Service Pack 2 or older installed, on September 30 you can rest assured - your device will work properly. Updates for iPhones are also coming, and owners of smartphones running iOS 9 and below should be especially concerned about this issue. In the worst situation are owners of phones with Android, because they often have to deal with problems with updating the operating system. As a result, users of such electronics may already remain without Internet on September 30.

Update required

What to do before September 30?

If you do not want to lose network access on September 30, check now whether your device is updated. Especially owners of older equipment should take care of this, in which there are no automatic updates, and the whole process you have to do yourself. So look at the websites of manufacturers of your equipment, look for information about all patches and updates of the system, and then for sure on September 30 you will not be in the group of people affected by the "Internet blackout".

Are any of your devices in danger? Let us know in the comments and if you enjoyed this article do not hesitate to share it with your friends and leave a Like on our Facebook page!

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