From a briefing Monday by John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion:

Q: What's your current thinking about the threat posed by computer viruses that may be timed to go off during the Y2K rollover?

Mr. Koskinen: . . . Clearly computer viruses are a threat every day . . . that people need to be prepared for and need to be adjusting their information computer systems for.

On the other hand, everybody testing software processing systems has generally done that by rolling them forward to the year 2000. And as a general matter those [tests] have not revealed viruses that were geared to go off during that rollover period. It doesn't mean that there won't be any. It means that if they are going to start to be transmitted, most of them are going to be transmitted I think now, as we are moving forward.

The second thing is that . . . people oftentimes planting viruses or hacking into systems . . . view themselves as providing a great public service, demonstrating the weaknesses in systems, increasing the amount of security. . . . Hopefully those people will recognize . . . that this will not be a particularly good weekend to try to demonstrate the need for more information security. . . .

So I think that the viruses we're going to have that weekend, and I think there probably will be some, . . . will be people really interested in only malicious harm.