Top 4 Software Failures in History

Software Failures

Even while poor-quality software continues to be expensive to the market, error monitoring solutions have grown increasingly necessary in recent years. However, many firms still see monitoring as an optional extra.

As a vital component of our economy, software systems now have an economic impact on the entire globe whenever they fail. Any developer, project manager, or tech leader may experience panic at the mere mention of a critical software issue. Below are mentioned the Top 5 Software Failure that the world has faced-

1988, Morris Worm

A Graduate student named Robert Tappan Morris at Cornell University has caused software bugs that are counted among the costliest software bugs in the world. The student created a worm as part of an experiment that crashed tens of thousands of computers due to coding errors.

During the Morris Worm software failure, the world was in the early version of the internet, so this was effectively the first infectious computer virus, that attacked 6,000 computers out of 60,000 approximately within 24 hours. This worm targeted computers that were running the Unix operating system specifically but was spread widely because of the multiple vectors feature of the attack.

The owner of this giant virus was charged with criminal hacking and fined $10,000.

2011, Bitcoin Hack, Mt. Gox

Till 2010, Mt.Gox was recognized as the most significant bitcoin exchange in the entire world, but in 2011, a software failure hit them, that proved fatal. The software attack cost up to $1.5 million in lost bitcoins, which were never fully redeemed. Again in 2014, a Japan-based bitcoin exchange of Mt. Gox, handling over 70% of all bitcoin transactions globally, got bankrupt.

The users of Mt. Gox lost access to their assets, and the remained assets were frozen for years. This massive hack victim, Mt. Gox, lost about 740,000 bitcoins.

1994, Pentium FDIV Bug

A math professor, Thomas Nicely, invented an error in the Pentium processor and reported it to Intel. In 1994, an elusive circuitry error caused a chip used in millions of computers, to generate inaccurate results in certain rare cases had heightened anxiety among many scientists and software engineers who relied on their machines for precise calculations.

Pentium FDIV software error in the chip algorithm calculated the chance of a miscalculation occurring to be just 1 in 360 billion. Although the software failure had minimal impact, millions of consumers demanded a new chip after learning about it in the news, which ended up costing Intel upwards of $475 million.

2004, EDS Child Support System

In 2004, IT system failures hit the U.K. government when more than 80,000 civil servants working for the Department of Work & Pension (DWP) dealt with one of the biggest computer crash in government history. This software error led the DWP’s Child Support System to struggle with a £456 million system from EDS, which made payments to only 1 in 8 single parents awaiting them.

The large, complex IT system which was introduced to the Child Support System by EDS, while trying to restructure the agency simultaneously, overpaid 1.9 million people and underpaid another 700,000 accidentally.

A leaked internal memo at the time stated that the designs of the system were bad enough and were badly tested and implemented. A Texas-based contractor at EDS announced a loss of $153 million in their subsequent financial results.

While software errors are an integral part of the technology development process, sometimes these errors can hit the world hard. So these were some software failures in history, which should make everyone question – just how secure is your system? As software developers, it is your duty to ensure that the systems are built and tested thoroughly in different and realistic conditions.

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Nisha Sharma- Go beyond facts. Tech Journalist at OnDot Media, Nisha Sharma, helps businesses with her content expertise in technology to enable their business strategy and improve performance. With 3+ years of experience and expertise in content writing, content management, intranets, marketing technologies, and customer experience, Nisha has put her hands on content strategy and social media marketing. She has also worked for the News industry. She has worked for an Art-tech company and has explored the B2B industry as well. Her writings are on business management, business transformation initiatives, and enterprise technology. With her background crossing technology, emergent business trends, and internal and external communications, Nisha focuses on working with OnDot on its publication to bridge leadership, business process, and technology acquisition and adoption. Nisha has done post-graduation in journalism and possesses a sharp eye for journalistic precision as well as strong conversational skills. In order to give her readers the most current and insightful content possible, she incorporates her in-depth industry expertise into every article she writes.


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