Zunes crash – but it’s a bug, not a virus

Yesterday, December 31st 2008, owners of Microsoft’s Zune MP3 player found that their devices were freezing at start-up.

The internet was bombarded by reports from 30GB Zune owners, concerned that their MP3 player may have been stricken by an astonishingly delayed variant of the Y2K bug or something more sinister.

Grunfloz summarised the issue pretty neatly on the Zune.net forum:

From what I can tell it looks like every Zune 30 on the planet has suddenly crashed. Is this a virus? A glitch? A time bomb? A disgruntled Microsoft employee? Planned obsolescence to make us buy a new one? Or just a terrorist plot to drive the free world crazy?

The reality was, as normal, rather more down-to-earth. It seems when the boffins at Microsoft created the Zune in 2006, they didn’t tell it how to handle leap years properly. So when…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or drop him an email.