NTP/GPSD bug in certain third-party solutions

NTP/GPSD bug in certain third-party solutions

Article: 100051668
Last Published: 2021-10-21
Ratings: 7 1
Product(s): Access, Appliances, ApplicationHA, Backup Exec, CommandCentral, Data Insight, Desktop Laptop Option, Disaster Recovery Orchestrator, eDiscovery Platform, Enterprise Vault, HyperScale, InfoScale & Storage Foundation, NetBackup, Resiliency Platform & CloudMobility, Risk Advisor, System Recovery, CloudPoint, AdvisorMail, Enterprise Vault.cloud, HPE Helion and Veritas Continuity, Information Map, Cognitive Object Storage, Information Studio, Carbonite Endpoint Protection, APTARE IT Analytics, Migrate, Merge1


Veritas has been made aware of an NTP/GPSD bug in certain third-party solutions that may impact your use of Veritas products.

NTP/GPSD Bug: Absent implementation of the appropriate fixes and patches, the following bug in unpatched NTP servers will cause the system clock on your NTP servers to reset back to 2002 on 24Oct2021:

What is GPSD?
GPSD is a service daemon at the OS layer for communicating with various Global Positioning System (GPS) devices in order to retrieve location information as well as time information, which is considered to be highly accurate. It translates data from Global Positioning System (GPS), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmission sources into a common format usable by various client applications.

GPSD is used to provide clock information to ntpd, the NTP daemon used by operating systems to sync a device's system clock to the time provided by a GPS/GNSS/AIS receiver. GPS satellites rely on multiple atomic clocks, so their time data is highly accurate.

How is GPSD related to NTP?
GPSD can be used as a time source for setting up a high-quality NTP server (NTPD). “High-quality” servers are servers that are considered highly accurate with respect to time.

Are Veritas products GPSD configured?
GPSD is normally configured on high-quality NTP servers. Most enterprise servers are NTP clients and not NTP servers, unaffected by the bug, and therefore will not have an impact on any Veritas products installed on those servers.

Impact on Veritas products due to the above bug
Our products depend on the system clock where they have been installed, which in turn could be synced with NTP servers. If the dependent NTP server is affected by the GPSD bug, it will have impacts across all Veritas products (such as NetBackup, NetBackup appliances, Infoscale, etc.) ranging from logging, debuggability, functionality, client-server communications, and file timestamps, which, in turn, could impact backup, archival and other functionality. The time-related metadata such as creation or modification date and time are governed by the system clock, and time-based policies around retention and data movement rely on the system clock time. Inaccurate system clock time will impact policy actions such as expiration of backup images or tiering of files.

Recommendation from Veritas

  • If you are running your own NTP servers that use GPSD as a time source, Veritas strongly recommends ensuring that you are running the latest versions. The latest official release with the GPSD fix is version 3.23.1 from September 9, 2021.
  • If you have configured use of external NTP servers, Veritas strongly recommends you confirm with the corresponding vendors that the NTP servers have been patched against this GPSD bug.
  • Appliances provide interfaces to specify the NTP servers with which the system clock of the appliance will sync time. If you change NTP servers, please ensure those interfaces are updated to connect to the new NTP servers as well.

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