Disasteris an understatement for any brand/organization/institution that has incurred losses due to an overtly miniscule but catastrophic software glitch. While technology and innovative applications have been empowering brands, there have been numerous disabling instances recorded by enterprises.
In this run on top software failures of 2016 -2015-2014, we take a stock of the debacles/glitches that have changed the face of software development and endorsed the role of testing in the overall SDLC process.
This is a list of software glitches/technical issues witnessed by brands and enterprises across diverse industries. Please note that the numbers 1-37 do not signify in anyway high or low impact of the software glitch on the brand/enterprise.Yahoo reports breach
Amongst the most recent data breaches, on September 22, 2016, Yahoo confirmed a data breach that exposed about 500 million credentials that date back to four years. It is being considered amongst the largest credential leaks of 2016. The company believes that this was a state-sponsored breach, where an individual on behalf of a government executed the entire hack. It further urged users to change their passwords and security questions. As a relief for the users, Yahoo stated that sensitive financial data like bank accounts and passwords was not stolen as part of the breach.
Source: Money.cnn.comNest thermostat freeze
Software update for the Nest ‘smart’ thermostat (owned by Google) went wrong and literally left users in the cold. When the software update went wrong, it forced the device’s batteries to drain out, which led to drop in the temperature. Consequently, the customers were unable to heat their homes or use any amenities.
Nest claimed that the fault was due to a December 4.0 firmware update, with related issues such as old air filters or incompatible boilers. Later it released a 4.0.1 software update that solved the issue for 99.5% of customers who were affected.
Source: Cio-asia.comHSBC’s major IT outage
In January 2016, HSBC suffered a major IT outage, and millions of bank customers were unable to access online accounts. The bank took almost 2 days to recover and get back to normal functioning.
HSBC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) declared that it was a result of a ‘complex technical issue’ within the internal systems.
Source: Cio-asia.comPrison Break
A glitch that occurred in December 2015 led to over 3,200 US prisoners being released before their declared date. The software was designed to monitor the behaviour of prisoners and was introduced in 2002. The problem was occurring for about 13 years and on an average prisoners were released almost 49 days in advance.
Source: Cio-asia.comHSBC payments glitch
In August 2015, HSBC failed to process about 275,000 individual payments that left many people without pay before a long Bank Holiday weekend. This occurred due to a major failure with the bank’s electronic payment system for its business banking users, affecting the individual payments. Bacs, a payment system used for payment processes across the UK, later picked up on this issue, labelling it as an ‘isolated issue’.
Source: Cio-asia.comBloomberg cancels debt issue
In April 2016, Bloomberg’s London office faced a software glitch, where its trading terminals went down for two hours. This came up at an unfortunate time when UK’s Debt Management Office (DMO) was about to auction a series of short-term Treasury bills. Later in a statement Bloomberg declared that the services were restored and the glitch was a result of both hardware and software failures in the network, resulting in excessive network traffic.
Source: Cio-asia.comRBS payments failure
About 6 lakh payments failed to get through the accounts of RBS overnight in June 2015, which included wages and benefits. Bank’s chief admin officer stated it as a technology fault and there was no further detail on the real cause. In 2012, about 6.5 million RBS customers had to face an outage caused due to a batch scheduling software glitch, where the bank was fined 56 million.
Source: Cio-asia.comAirbus software bug alert
In May 2015, Airbus issued an alert for urgently checking its A400M aircraft when a report detected a software bug that had caused a fatal crash earlier in Spain. Prior to this alert, a test flight in Seville has caused the death of four air force crew members and two were left injured.
Source: Theguardian.comUK government’s new online farming payments system gets delayed
In March 2015, the UK government delayed the launch of 154 million rural payments system. The system is an online service for farmers to apply for Common Agricultural Policy payments from the EU. This online service that was supposed to be up and running by May 2015 got delayed due to integration issues between the portal and the rules engine software. It was then not expected to be up even by 2016.
Source: Computerworlduk.comCo-op Food’s double charges
In July 2015, Co-operative Food apologized to its customers and promised a refund within 24 hours. The reason was a ‘one-off technical glitch’ while processing the software that resulted in customers being charged twice.Source: