Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I ran into this recently, when booting a VM that hadn't been turned on in awhile. I'm guessing the system came up from a saved state, as I typically don't shut my VMs completely down.

When the system came up, I noted that the time was incorrect. So, to resolve this, I naturally went to the Date & Time settings and tried to force an Internet Time synch. The computer returned an error to me then, stating that the date was incorrect and it could not synchronize the time until the date was rectified.

Why is this necessary? If the system can discover that the date is incorrect, what is limiting it from synchronizing the date as part of the same operation in which it does the time?

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

what is limiting it from synchronizing the date as part of the same operation in which it does the time?

You assume that your network time server will always be authoritative. If an attacker can hijack your computer's requests to the time server then they can set a date in the past or future and this weakens the Kerberos security model.

The tolerance is there as a security measure.

share|improve this answer
add comment

This is the very subject of an article from Raymond Chen, a Microsoft Developper, posted a month ago on his OldNewThing blog (providing very interesting insights into Windows and Microsoft tools internals, in general).

The basic rational is to protect your computer against a rogue time server:

At first glance, you might think that the server is attempting to defend itself against a client whose time is set incorrectly, but actually the potential attack is in reverse: Your computer is protecting itself against a rogue time server.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Lots of information of date & time synchronisation when using Hyper-V here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2010/11/19/time-synchronization-in-hyper-v.aspx

Summary: it isn't ideal because the RTC inside the VM is unreliable, but appropriate configuration will mitigate things.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.