Typical ... put in some special hidden something and someone will find it and cause trouble with it.
There have been so many complete fails like this... at one time there was a hidden cpu instruction and if you called it, the computer froze and needed a boot (early pentium, I think?). Edit: there have been many, many of these, early pentium included.
Although it looks like a read-only (RO) operation, it must somehow not be. If the $i30 file contains timestamps for access time then updating the time is a write operation. Is it some kind of strange loop since you're accessing the $i30 file itself?