10/10/10 internet virus rumour debunked

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
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Time bomb
Rumours have spread across the internet that a computer virus will strike computers at 10:10am on 10 October 2010 (or, if you prefer, 10:10 10/10/10).

It’s just the kind of scare that people love to murmur about, and share with their online friends, but I’m afraid it has no basis in fact.

As I explain in The Daily Telegraph today, focusing on particular dates is not the way to keep your computer protected against malware attack.

The truth is that there is malicious software which triggers every day of the year – so worrying about one particular date or time is actually counter-productive, as it implies that you should take less care on other dates.

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The reason why the 10th October has received a little more attention is because of the cute quirk of the numbers reading 10/10/10. But even that’s not a new idea. For instance, in the run-up to March 3 2003, I had to debunk rumours that the internet would stop working at 03/03/03.

The 10/10/10 rumour, just like the 03/03/03 one, is utter codswallop.

And yes, I know that 101010 is binary for decimal 42 (the alleged answer to “Life, The Universe and Everything” if you’re a fan of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). But it’s still not any reason to worry any more than normal!


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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