Updated: 5/16/2006; 3:38:16 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses


daily link  Friday, November 11, 2005


History's Worst Software Bugs: Cool story of software bugs with bad effects.  First, why "bug"?  In 1945, "engineers found a moth in Panel F, Relay #70 of the Harvard Mark II system. The computer was running a test of its multiplier and adder when the engineers noticed something was wrong. The moth was trapped, removed and taped into the computer's logbook with the words: "first actual case of a bug being found."

My favorite story was an intentional bug placed by the CIA in 1982.  The background refs are worth reading.  "Operatives working for the Central Intelligence Agency allegedly (.pdf) plant a bug in a Canadian computer system purchased to control the trans-Siberian gas pipeline. The Soviets had obtained the system as part of a wide-ranging effort to covertly purchase or steal sensitive U.S. technology. The CIA reportedly found out about the program and decided to make it backfire with equipment that would pass Soviet inspection and then fail once in operation. The resulting event is reportedly the largest non-nuclear explosion in the planet's history."

  11:19:26 PM  permalink  

 
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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 3:38:16 PM.