Top 10 Famous Computer Bugs That Cost Millions of Dollars »TechWorm


Computer bugs or coding errors are a common occurrence in the tech world because almost all software in development contains bugs.

Any software that has a bug since the beginning of its lifecycle and is discovered later is called a zero day. Every day we hear of such zero days, which makes it easy for hackers to hack into the system or your PC.

Although such bugs cost a lot of money, there are many instances where such software errors have caused losses in the millions of dollars. Today we present to you 10 famous and interesting bugs from the tech world.

Top 10 Famous and Interesting Bugs in Tech World

1. The Ariane 5 crash

Arian 5 was the fifth in the Ariane series of non-reusable European civilian launchers intended for space launch and was to be used for launching satellites into space. The name comes from the French spelling of the mythological character Ariane. On a sunny day in Kourou, French Guiana, on June 4, 1996, the unmanned Ariane 5 exploded only about 40 seconds after launch. This $ 500 million rocket exploded due to a very common software bug called Integer Overflow. Internal software exception SRI * occurred while performing a conversion of 64-bit floating point data to 16-bit signed integer value. The floating point number that was converted had a value greater than what could be represented by a 16-bit signed integer.

2. Patriot missile software failure

Patriot missile software failure

This software bug ended up causing more loss of life than can be counted in money. 28 US soldiers were killed and 98 were injured when an Iraqi missile hit their barracks because the missile system to protect them failed due to a software bug. The missile defense system called Patriot failed to track and intercept the incoming Iraqi missile due to a bug in Patriot’s radar and tracking software and was unable to deploy in time.

3. Year 2000 bug or year 2000 bug

This bug caused losses and spawned a new generation of startups. In the late 1990s, the Y2K bug was perhaps the most talked about bug as the world waited for planes to collide, for ships to deviate, for markets. Stock markets are collapsing, as predicted by many tech experts. The bug was a simple error in the computers’ time management system that only used two digits to represent the year. Thus, 1970 would be represented by 70 and 1999 by 99.

This method worked well until December 31, 1999, but did not take this millennium into account. Due to this bug, almost all computers that were running at that time would have read on January 1, 2000, and many on January 1, 1900. The collapse never happened, but it took some time for software developers to read. fix this bug.

4. PayPal bug that made a deposit of $ 92 billion

On a hot, humid day in June 2013, Chris Reynolds was scared to death because his PayPal account had a credit of $ 92,233,720 368,547,800. The Pennsylvania public relations manager’s account balance had swelled to $ 92,233,720 368,547,800. That’s a $ 92 QUADRILLION (and some change).

The money was credited to Reynolds’ PayPal account due to a bug that catapulted him into becoming the richest man in the world until the fun lasted. Reynolds was a million times richer than the richest man in the world at the time, the $ 67 billion Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim. PayPal admitted the credit was due to a software bug and offered to donate an unspecified amount of money to a cause of Reynolds’ choice.

5. Gangnam Style broke YouTube

In 2014, YouTube was cut short by a music video called Gangnam Style by Psy. The developers at YouTube built their platform on a 32-bit ledger, which means YouTube could track a value range of -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647 for its views count. As you unfortunately cannot register a negative view on YouTube, this resulted in a view tracking capacity of almost 2.15 billion.

“We never thought that a video would be viewed more than a 32-bit integer,” YouTube said. in a Google+ post, “but that was before I met PSY.” Google fixed this YouTube bug by changing the number of views to a 64-bit signed integer.

6. Bug in native Windows calculator

This bug did not cause any loss but continues to this day. Every version of Microsoft’s Windows operating software has a calculator that cannot give a correct answer for the square root (9) -3. The answer to this arithmetic should be 0, but the Windows calculator does not output 0. See the image below to understand the bug.

The result of the calculator is the same for any other number. For example, sqrt (4) -2’s answer should be 0 but it will not give 0 as the answer. This bug was discovered years earlier but continues unabated even in Windows 10.

7. Year 2038 problem with 32-bit Unix computers

This timing bug issue is similar to the Y2K bug issue we had in the late 90s, except that it still needs to be fixed. Global 32-bit computers could shut down on January 19, 2038, as time will end on that date. The year 2038 problem is a problem for compute and data storage situations where time values ​​are stored or computed as a 32-bit signed integer, and this number is interpreted as the number of seconds since 00:00:00 UTC on January 1, 1970 (the time). Such implementations cannot encode hours after 03:14:07 UTC on January 19, 2038.

According to software engineers, the year 2038 bug has no solution.

8. Software race condition bug creates power outage for 50 million people

On August 14, 2003, a power outage in eight US states and Canada affected 50 million people. PC Authority described the cause, a race condition bug, such as something that happens when “two separate threads of the same operation use the same piece of code.” Without proper timing, wires get tangled and crash a system.

This is what happened here with the result 256 power stations offline. The major disruptions manifested in the form of cellular communication with the best form of communication during the outage said to be a laptop computer using a dial-up modem. And if you just recoiled in horror at the word “switching”, you are not alone.

9. $ 327 million Mars Climate Orbiter explosion due to software error

The Mars Climate Orbiter was launched on December 11, 1998 by NASA to search for planets that could harbor human life. Unfortunately, due to an error in the computer software on the ground, the $ 327.6 million project – according to the NASA Fact Sheet – disappeared 286 days later. Due to a miscalculation, Orbiter entered Mars’ atmosphere at the wrong entry point and disintegrated shortly thereafter.

10. AT&T Nine Hour Outage Due to Software Bug

For nine hours in January 1990, AT&T customers in the United States could not make long distance calls. It crippled the entire United States telephone network for an entire day. The root of the problem was a bug in the AT&T software that controlled the company’s long-distance relay switches, software that had just been updated. AT&T ended up losing $ 60 million in fees that day, a very costly bug.


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