Collection of Software Bugs

Prof. Thomas Huckle
Institut für Informatik
TU München
huckle@in.tum.de

Last modified: April/28/2014

"If you look at a big enough population long enough, then almost any damn thing will happen" (Persi Diaconis)


General Web Sites on Bugs
Bugs in general
Collection of seminar talks on major software bugs (in German)
"The first Computer Bug!", see also "First" Computer Bug and Origin of computer bug
Video on Software Bugs as a flash file
Play Video on Software Bugs
Interview "Unzuverlässige Software" in DRadio Wissen

Recent Bugs

Security bug in the open-source OpenSSL cryprography library Heartbleed

Measuring error in Olympic games Hammer throwing, London, August 2012

Software bug leads to retardation of brake system Delay in admission of new ICE trains, November 2012

Curiosity mars rover bug NASA fixes bug, March 2013,

Software update leads to erronous orders at Stock Exchange: Knight Capital looses $389 million, August 2012

Wrong counting at elections because of use of different software: Election in Führt, 2013

NEW: Software problem leads to retractions of five papers on the molecular structures of important proteins embedded in cell membrans: "A Scientist's nightmare", in Science Vol.314, Dec. 2006, A case of the wrong hand, Wrong, but still convincing, "ABC Transporter Debacle" by Phil Jeffrey, Misconduct and Paper Retractions, Retracted paper on MsbA, Retraction letter.

More information on Fraud and error in science.
More information on retractions .

Hypo Real Estate: wrong booking (+/- mix-up): here and here
Other HRE glitch: here



0. Heisenberg effects in Software and Computer Science

Probe effect and debugging: The probe effect is an alteration in the frequency of run-time computational errors observed when delays are introduced into concurrent programs
See Debugging massively parallel programs, and the literature therein.

Heisenberg effect and monitoring: By collecting information to analyse target system behavior, one is altering that very behavior
Online Monitoring: A Tutorial, page 3, by B. (Plale) Schroeder, and Fighting Bugs by Grottke, Trivedi

Heisenberg effect in computer arithmetic: MATLAB example of Prof. W. Gander, ETH

Heisenbugs, Bohrbugs and related effects: heisenbug , wikipedia , Lance Armstrong bug, interview with Bruce Lindsay , reverse heisenbug

Heisenberg effect in user observation: panopticon, Hawthorne effect, Heisenberg effect


1. Ariane 5, Explosion
(data conversion of a too large number, 1996)

Disasters: Ariane
A bug and a crash
ESA report
Copy of Full Report
wikipedia
Lessons from Ariane
Ariane 5: Programming error?
For videos use blinkx and search for Ariane, 5, 501, explosion
Problems with Ariane 5: flight 157 , flight 157 report, flight 157 slides,
General information on Ariane: Astronautix and ESA.
Other rocket error: Sea Lunch Zenit 3SL rocket malfunction because of software logic error

Other problem: Cryosat rocket fault: Problem with the onboard software flight control system caused failure of the shutdown of the engine of the second stage. See also ESA News
Wikipedia, ESA on Rockot, and Cryosat Homepage

NASA CO2 hunter fail, february 2009, on Taurus XL
, see also here.



2. Pentium Processor, Division Algorithm
(incomplete entries in a look-up-table, 1994)

First email by T. Nicley related to the Pentium bug
Why is Software hard to make
Support Intel Pentium fdiv
The Mathematics of the Pentium Flaw by Alan Edelman in SIAM Review 39 (March), 54-67, see also Talk
Anatomy of the Pentium Bug
Wikidia on Pentium bug
Pentium II Math Bug
SRT Division by Sweeney, Robertson, Tocher:
T. D. Tocher, Techniques of multiplication and division for binary computers, Quaterly J. of Applied Math. 2, 1958
J.E.Robertson, A new class of digital division methods, IRE Transactions on Electronic Computers, EC-7, 1958
More bugs in Pentium Porcessors, e.g. converting floating point into integer
Further links: Pentium bug revisited, other Intel chip flaw, Intel secrets, Viele Prozessorfehler bleiben geheim.
Additional Information: Windows Calculator bug.



3. Patriot-Scud
(rounding error, 1991)

Disasters: Patriot
Further links GAO report
Israeli Experience , Postol paper, and An evaluation of the Army report
Patriot Performance reviewed , Patriot Missile Software Problem, Is Software to blame ?
Scud - Information Paper, Einsatz von Patriot, , Wikipedia on Patriot
Video animation of patriot versus Scud
see also e.g. Patriot Missile Risk, Patriot misled, Patriot fails again
Patriots down Iraqui Missiles

General Problem: Missile defense/Star wars: Review on Missile Defense Tests
Candid report on Missile defense
SDI: Professional responsibility and talks on Parnas papers, Software aspects of SDI, Parnas paper on SDI , and Missile interceptor system failed.

More on Missile Defense:
Chronology of missile defense, see also here and here.
Postol talk and Postol letter, Talk on Parnas.



4. Mars Climate Orbiter, Loss
(Mixture of pounds and kilograms, 1999)

NASA MCO webpage
MCO report
risk digest 20.60.subj 13.1
MPL/MCO resources
wikipedia
Software Engineering: MCO
Video animation of crash

Mars Sonden
Mars Polar Lander (spurious signals when the lander legs were deployed gave false indication that the lander had landed -> engine stop, see MPL report
wikipedia
MPL entdeckt (MPL found) (this identification turned out to be incorrect!)
Loss of European lander Beagle, see also here, and report
(see also "Faster, Cheaper, Better")
Additional Information on unit bugs



5. Green Party Convent fails
(By rounding error and erronous use of Excel the wrong number of delegates is computed, 2002)

Stuttgarter Zeitung, 25.2.2002, 26.2.2002
See also lost decimal point leads to overbill

Elections in Scheswig Holstein/Germany: Rounding lifts the Green Party from 4.97% to 5.0%, 1992: in Risks Digest 13.37. subj4.1

Further problem with Excel 2007 arithmetic: 77.1 * 850 = ?. See also Explaining the Excel Bug and Verflixte Multiplikationen.
See also EXCEL 2000, 1900 leapyear problem, also in itjungle.

EXCEL Rounding errors:
Rounding Errors in Excel, Microsoft Support, Talk on float in business, and Talk on excel float

Spreadsheet errors

Java rounding errors

MS Word (Encrypted information on documents): Risks Digest Vol. 21.25



6. NASA Mariner 1 , Venus probe
(period instead of comma in FORTRAN DO-Loop, 1962)

Horror Nr. 25 with reference to
G.J.Myers: Software Reliability: Principles & Practice, p. 25
The FORTRAN-Code
NASA
Additional Information on code bugs

Mariner software bug is now considered to be an urban legend, see zope risks , risk digest 8.75 subj 1 , risk digest 9.54 subj 1 , wikipedia



7. AT&T long distance service fails for nine hours
(Wrong BREAK statement in C-Code, 1990)

Horror Nr. 38.
Problme der Datenverarbeitung: AT&T
The C-Code on slide 10
Risk Digest 9.62, 9.63, 9.69 and 9.7.
attcrash webpage with the C code and Time Magazin 1990: Ghost in the machine.

See also iPhone 3G glitches, and iPhone users plagued by software problems
Apple iPhone 4, and also here



8. Phobos 1, Russian Mars Probe
(Wrong command leads to rotation, 1988)

Risk digest 7.53. subj 2.1



9. Euro Conversion
(Rounding errors)

Rounding error DM to Euro
Conversion arithmetics



10. Airbus downing during Iran-conflict
(Pattern recognition software, 1988)

Horror Nr. 2
mirror of Trenches: Fabulous Failures
Vincennes: Case Study, or copy, or ppt or Case study.
Short description
Risk Digest 7.20 subj 1.1, 7.46 subj 2.1, 8.74 subj 1.1.
video



11. False alarm in Soviet early-warning monitoring system
(Pattern recognition, 1983)

Softwareqatest
See also 8/3, NORAD-Moon or copy



12. USS Yorktown
(Input and Division by '0', 1998)

Failures and Famous Bugs
Software glitches leave Navy Smart Ship dead in the water | GCN July 13, 1998
Seminar talk
Sunk by Windows NT.
Splendor of the Seas, computer problem stops cruise ship, 1997, see also here
See also default value zero kills soldier



13. Radio Telescope VLA, calibration
(rounding error, 1990-1995)

SETJY
SETJY bug notice
Flux Density Scale at VLA
FLUX DENSITY CALIBRATION AT THE VLA
See also Software problem handling in VLT.



14. ROSAT-Bug
(Rounding/processing error in ROSAT observations, 1998)

Processing errors in US sequences
HRI aspect time bug
ROSAT mission
Additional Story on wrongly found new planet
Rosetta, OSIRIS imaging asteroid Steins, sep 2008, Narrow angle camera (NAC) switched to safe mode before closest approach (to protect camera?), see also here.
SOHO, gyros, no power, 1995-2007.
Hubble, data formatter and control unit for sending data to earth fails (2008).



15. Sleipner Offshore Platform
(Sinking caused by the wrong use of FE-code NASTRAN, 1991)

Disasters: Sleipner see also here,
The Sleipner Platform Accident by Jakobsen,
Ursache fuer den Totalverlust - Schlaich, Reineck,
Wikipedia: Condeep, Summary: Sleipner A, or Kees Vuik: Disasters,
Size Effect and Design Safety in Concrete Structures under Shear, Failure of an Offshore Platform, Behavior and capacity of headed reinforcement, ACI Structural Journal (see also here).
Main source: SINTEF Report No. STF22 A97861, Sleipner A GBS Loss Report 17: Main Report
Wikipedia on Sleipner, The Failure of an Offshore Platform, ACI, Oil rig disasters, Failure of an Offshore Oil Platform Concrete Base.
Additional Information on the name "sleipner"



16. London Millenium Bridge, wobbling (compare Tacoma Bridge)
(Simulation fails because of wrong estimates for pedestrian forces, 2000)

Arup: MilleniumBridge/ Choose: IN DEPTH, Technical and Video
Wikipedia,
Additional damping: Taylor devices and Gerb



17. Thunderstorm "Lothar" in South Germany, Dec./26/99
(Weather Prediction fails because of ignored outlier data)

Berliner Morgenpost vom 27.1.2000
DWD Flügelschlag des Schmetterlings
DWD Klimastatusbericht 1999, Orkantief Lothar
Was war mit den neuen Vorhersagemodellen des DWD
DWD Vorhersagemodelle, Datenassimilation
Simulation von Lothar
Orkan Lothar
See also Lothar Workshop and Wetterfuchs and Wetter Modelle: GME und LM
Data assimilation, (see also here).

For a similar case see Risk Digest



18. Vancouver Stock Exchange Index
(Rounding Error, 1983)

Risks Digest 3.41, subj4.1, Question 20
Numerical Reliability of Econometric Software
see also Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA:
Dow Jones Average collapses
Risk Digest 21.28. subj 3
Copy of original sources: Toronto Star, Wall Street Journal, and J. of Economic Literature
Toronto Stock Exchange, Dec 2008: Shut-down because of technical problems. "network firmware issue" resulted in complications with data sequencing, which affected quotes going out. See here.

Arbeitslosengeld II = ALG-II in Germany:writing 9 digit bank codes left-aligned in 10 digit fields leads to adding a zero at the end and wrong bank codes.
See also German dole and loss of pension data
German tax software Elster (Werbungskosten: Autofahrt zur Arbeit absetzen, 2008),
German Tax identification code (misinterpretation of white space, 2008), see also here
Millions cashless in bank glitch



19. Cloud data blown away for sidekick users (Oct 11 09):

T-Mobile and Microsoft loose personal data
Amazon Cloud
Gmail Cloud



20. Voyager 2
(Wrong Starting Estimate of Uranus mass in Iteration, Data Compression, 1986)

Probleme der Datenverarbeitung: Voyager 2,
Spektrum der Wissenschaft 1/1987S. 67, R.Laeser, W. MacLaughlin, D. Wolff, Fernsteuerung und Fehlerkontrolle von Voyager 2 (in German)
General information on Voyager:
Bruce Murray and Voyager
Charlie Kohlhase and Voyager
Book: Bruce Murray: Journey into Space: The first three decades of Space Exploration.
Leitenberger on Voyager
Computer in der Raumfahrt
catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/9.12.html#subj3.1
Usure et pannes
Sequencing Voyager II for the Unranus encounter MORRIS, R. B., California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena AIAA-1986-2111 IN: Astrodynamics Conference, Williamsburg, VA, August 18-20, 1986, Technical Papers (A86-47901 23-13). New York , American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1986, p. 168-177. NASA-supported research



21. Shut down of Nuclear Reactors
(Use of wrong norm in CAD system, 1979)

Horror Nr. 28

For general nuclear accidents see:
Mayak and Kyshtym, 1957
Windscale, 1957
Harrisburg, Three Miles Island, 1979
Chernobyl, 1986
Accidents in nuclear plants Kruemmel and Brunsbuettel, 2007



22. 180 Degree Bugs:

horror stories or copy of horror stories: 5/2 (F-16-equator), 8/5 (US vessel), 9/5 (F16-left-right), 10/2 (Soviet test missile)
Additional story on torpedo, see also torpedo story on page 9, torpedo story in Yucks Digest , USS Tullibee (or here ), USS Tang, USS Scorpion(also here and here) for circular run of torpedoes.

Submarine Bug: Sinking of the Squalus, see also Sinking of Thetis, also here

Equator F-16 inversion: Lectures on Testing, Software Bugs with fatal consequences, Simulation Bugs,
Risk digest 3.44 subj 1, Illustrative Risks 8.

Related "International Date Line" - Bugs:
F-22 shot down by date line, see also CNN article, international date line or Slashdot article or murdoc online article
Risk digest 24.58.

Related "New Year" - Bug:
Space Shuttle computer is not designed to make the change from the 365th to the first day while in flight, (here), or slashdot article and Space shuttle computers and new year, Risk digest



23. Falkland Exocet
(Argentinian (French-friendly) Exocet sinks British H.M.S.Sheffield, 1982)

Horror Nr. 8
Risk Digest

See also Wikipedia and BBC video



24. Mars Sojourner, Pathfinder
(Unwanted Restart, 'Priority Inversion', 1997)

Risks-Digest: Risk Digest 19.49. subj 1.1
Risk Digest 19.54 subj 6.1
Pathfinder's computer reprogrammed to avoid software glitches
General information on Pathfinder: JPL Nasa MPF

See also: Software problems with MARS ROVER SPIRIT:
NASA
wikipedia
Risk digest
Flash memory and FAT memory
Windows Bug converts Mars Rover into Juke box
arstechnica update on Mars
Spaceflightnow articel 1 , article 2 , and
NASA 2,
Trouble with rover is revealed
Dos glitch nearly killed Mars Rover.

Problems with Mars Global Surveyor (Incorrect addresses), see also JPL, Risk digest 24.63, Spaceref article and Slashdot article

See also Loss of data from Huygens probe



25. Railway Signal Box Altona, Germany
(not enough memory, 1995)

Risks Digest vol. 63 (93)
Seminar on Stellwerk Altona glitch and also paper
Computersteuerung, Hamburgs Bahnhof auf dem Abstellgeleis, NZZ
Diplom Thesis on Altona signal box error
Brunnstein ueber Altona
More on trains:
London tube train leaves ... without its driver, 1990, see also here
Metrolink crash, 12 Sept 3008, LA, signal failure, driver text-messaging, see also here
Washington DC Metro collision 22 June 2009, automatic mode, signals
Fahrerlose U-Bahn in Nuernberg.



26. Denver Airport
(Computerised Baggage Handling fails, 1995)

Why is Software hard to make
Famous Failures
Schloh-Project on DIA
Swartz on Automated Baggage System
Paper Neufville
A case narrative of the Project Problems with DIA
Case Study DIA
Project Drexel University or copy
Vortrag DIA (in German)
Logplan Baggage handling
UA abandons DIA baggage system 2005

Baggage handling Munich Airport , and here,
Baggage handling at Frankfurt Airport


T5 prepares for take off
IBM - beyond the carousel
British Airways reveals what went wrong with Terminal 5
Is this your luggage? by Luna Laboo.
Nick Porter from Vanderlande Industries describes baggage handling system Heathrow T5
IT experts tackle baggage system problems at Heathrow's Terminal 5
Vanderlande - T5
Facts: Heathrow T5
Risk digest 25.10
BBC 1 and BBC 2
IT failure at T5
Baggage handling glitch T5
Baggage handling control from IBM here, and here.
Weitere Logistikprobleme im neuen Heathrow Terminal

How baggage handling works
Other baggage handling problems



27. Distributed denial-of-service attacks (2000)

Risk Digest 20.79. subj 1
Inside Risks 118, CACM 43, 4, April 2000, by P.G.Neumamm



28. Airbus 380 wiring matching problems:

Toulouse and Hamburg working with different versions of CAD Software. See Delivery delays and SW problems, New York Times, and cadalyst.

Boeing 787 networking.



29. Clementine Space Mission (NASA + Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, funded and operated by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization 'Starwars')
(malfunction of computer, firing of control thruster, 1994)

Why is Software hard to make
Nasa: Clementine
Clementine Mission



30. ISS International Space Station
(Computer bugs)

Russian Software glitch delaying ISS Launch , here , Software glitch shakes space station,
Space Station / Space Shuttle Software glitch , Space shuttle computer glitch, ISS Computers
CNN, April 28, 2001
Risk Digest vol. 21.37
CNN, May 1, 2001
ISS-Computer wieder in Betrieb, ISS Computer arbeiten wieder

The computer error that delayed the first shuttle start: Seminar talk, see also: The "Bug" heard around the world, John Garman, ACM SIGSOFT vol. 6 (5) 1981, or here.
Space shuttle software
Space shuttle control software, Oct.1981
Endeavour rendezvous error: when is x==y?,
NASA buying old 8086 chips for space shuttle
Space shuttle fuel sensor, 2007, see also here
Space Station computer problem: faulty switch, June 2007, see also here and here.



31. Voting Technique and Elections Machines
(Florida Voting Chaos)

Jones Testimony before Civil Rights Commission
Risks Digest Vol. 21.13
Risks Digest Vol. 21.12
Risk Digest 22.36
Butterfly Ballot (CNN)
General information
Collection of URL's
Paper better than Computer (CNN)
Workshop EVT
Voting machines with poorly written software, also here
Debate over electronic Voting



32. Therac-25, X-ray
(Overdosing patients during radiation, 1975-1987)

History's worst software bugs
Therac_25/Therac_1.html
therac.ps
Safety-Critical Computing
Therac-25 in LOTOS

Related accidents:
Medical errors
Epinal, France: Patient dies after X-Ray blunder
Patient exposed to high radiation
Probleme mit IMRT Systemkonfigurationen
Strahlenskandal Eppendorf
Kidney transplant with wrong blood type, incorrectly recorded in database.
Overdosis, LA, 2009
Radiation machines overdosing again
Medical radiation mistakes
Medical errors (wrong patient, wrong part)



33. Sound System German 'Bundestag', December 1992:

Risk Digest14.19 subj 1.1, 14.20 subj 8.1, 14.74 subj 3.1



34. Wall Street Crash, October 1987
(Acceleration of the crash)

The blackest of mondays
What caused the Stock Market Crash 1987, or here, or here
2010 Stock market Flash Crash: A single large trade can send stocks into a sudden spiral
The formula that killed Wall Street
Inappropriate Gaussian copula in the housing crisis
Algo-Trading
Xetra DAX Computer Panne an Frankfurter Boerse , Kurssturz ueberfordert Boersen-systeme, Panne legt Boersenhandel lahm , Dow-Jones drop, 27 Febr 2007, Computer overload, dropping of the index
Bank of America, $23 Million snafu, 1987, new system installed, befor debugged, see also here, or here, or here.

Stock market fiasko 2010 and here.



35. ATM gives any amount of Euro for arbitrarily PINcode
(Programming glitch on the occasion of the switch-over from DM to Euro, 2002)

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 9.1.2002

Wrong bank transfer.



36. Reverse Thrust: Unknown reason!
(Avoid Crash by Reverse Thrust --> Lufthansa crash in Warsaw 1993)

Risk Digest 16.35. subj 2.1, 11.82. subj 3.2, 15.13 subj 7.1, 15.30 subj 7.1, 15.31 subj 9.1, Paper
Aircraft Accident Investigation Report on China Airlines B 1816, Airbus A300
See also: Airbus overrunning runway, Leeds Bradford, 2005, and Heathrow, 2008.
Lufthansa LH 44, Hamburg: crosswind landing (ground versus flight mode), or here . Discussion group.

Airbus 320 fly-by-wire crash Habsheim/Mulhouse: Safety critical archive 1, Safety critical archive 2, airdisaster investigation, airdisaster database, Risk digest 7.11 subj 3.2, Trusting Software, Crash video

Chinook helicopter crash, blame the pilot.

Similar problem with trains: Railway flat train wheels



37. Friendly Fire

Risk digest 21.98, 22.65, 22.69, 22.71, 22.72, 23.72 Patriot again!
Patriot and friendly fire, also Patriot versus Tornado and Patriot/Tornado



38. Sibirian pipeline sabotage, 1982

Flaws in stolen software lead to explosion



39. Ozone Hole ignored until 1985
(Software had to set aside data points that deviated greatly from expected measurements)

Earth Observatory, NASA
Risk Digest 3.29
See also Error in climate data recording software 2006 caused by software glitch in buoys



40. Sinking of the Zenobia
(Failure of the computerized ballasting system, 1980)

Zenobia
Zenobia Ship Wreck, see also here, or here, or Zenobia shipwreck, or Wrack der Zenobia or Zenobia

Other ship accidents: M/S Estonia, 1994 , Herald of Free Enterprise, 1987, and Sinking of Vasa, 1628

Oil tanker catastrophes, e.g. Amoco Cadiz, 1978 or Exxon Valdez, 1989



41. Swedish fighter plane Gripen
(Flight control software causes crash, 1989)

Risk Digest 8.49
Pilot induced oscillations, ejections
ejection
Gripen page
gripen crash video 1 and video 2.

F-35 Testing suspended: control surface freeze in flight



42. Software bugs related to cars

How computer took over our cars
Cruise control failures, see also here
BMW onboard drive dynamic control system fails
Software bugs bremsen Luxusschlitten aus
Mensch denkt, Chip lenkt: Software im Auto
Airbag: Vom Retter erschlagen: Software bug in airbag kills child: Artikel, Risk digest - Baby Death, Talk Prof. Broy, SWR-Interview mit Prof. Broy, Airbagabschaltung, Verletzungen durch Airbag
Thai minister trapped in BMW by central locking system
BMW 7, battery and software
Warning lights and gasoline engines stalling in Prius hybrid vehicle
ESP and Audi TT
Automotive bugs, dishwasher and more
Toyota break problems
Toyota 'black box' reader
Toyota recalls Lexus, increased risk of rollover: electronic stability control program
Toyota: computer boards with possible faulty wiring
Man unable to open car from inside, and Smart Keys for motorcycles
Bus system doesn't read paper money, screen freeze, Phoenix, 2008

Automotive embedded systems (pdf) or ppt
Automotive Software, see also here.



43. Toll Collect: Problems with toll billing system for trucks based on GPS and GSM

Risk Digest 22.94 subj 4.1, 23.65 subj 6, 23.69 subj 5.1, 23.72 subj 6, 23.21 subj 6.1 24.82 subj 3
Computer world article, road traffic article,
Public Private Partnership Disaster, Tolle Welt mit Toll Collect, Toll Collect Homepage , c't article.

GPS problems: Death valley, bus crash, week rollover bug .
Segways software glitch: Wheels can unexpectedly reverse direction, 2006.

Further logistic problems: Adidas Shoe Distribution System, Pizza Delivery Service and Computer Aided Vehicle Dispatching,
Software for Hubble (see also here)

Further large-scale project disasters
German health card system, loss of data, see also here
Digitaler Polizeifunk TETRA, see also here, and here
Oesterreich, neues Polizei EDV-SYSTEM
UK Chinook helicopters, software problems, see also here.



44. Power blackout NY 2003 (Northeast blackout):

Risk digest 22.86 subj 1
Bug in GE Energy's XA/21 system
Northeast blackout

Deregulation of California Power Industry,
See also EON German Power Outage 2006 (Simulation done only including fitst order effects), see also here



45. Airplane disasters:

Computer-Related Incidents with Commercial Airlines by Peter Ladkin
Major Airline Disasters
airsafe.com
Airplane crash videos
Swiss Air Flight 111 Inflight Entertainment System, fammable material, see also here and here
Bashkirian Airlines - DHL crash or Kollision Ueberlingen
see also Listen to TACS, Brazil 2006, and Airplane safety and GPS
Turkish Airlines 1951, Boeing 737, Amsterdam, 25 February 2009; faulty radio altimeter, showing -8 feet instead of 1950 feet, see also here, here, and here.
Air Canada 190, A319, loosing 4000ft by autopilot malfunction, 10 January 2008, see also here.
SPANAIR 5022 MD-82, Madrid, 20. August 2008: Abnormal take-off configuration with flaps at 0°: no alarm sounded, see also here , and Spanair revisited

Computer problems Airbus Qantas flight 72 from Singapur to Perth, October 7, 2008. Air Data Inertial Reference Unit supplies incorrect data to the flight control computers.
See also another ADIRU failure and preliminary report.
Risk Digest 25.38, Australian Government , Spiegel-Artikel

Similar Problem: Air France flight 447, 31 May 2009, see also Airsafe, Risk Digest 25.96, and time.com.
LA Timws commentary



46. Railway disasters:

Danger ahead: Historic Railway Disasters
See also Word Processing Bug leads to railway accident

Other train accidents, e.g. ICE Eschede train disaster, 1998, Paddington Rail Tragedy, 1999 (see also train overruns stops), and Transrapid accident, Emsland, 2006

Bayerische Oberlandbahn (Bavarian private railway) (Elektronic Bugs: Air conditioning, doors,.., 1999): www.josefstal.de/bob/

Washington, DC Metro crash.

London Dockland light railway accident.



47. Space Disasters:

Role of Software in Spacecraft Accidents by Nancy Leveson (MCO, MPL, Ariane-5, Titan/Milstar, SOHO)
Space accidents
The Challenger Accident and Columbia accident, see also Apollo 1 and Apollo 13
Nedelin catastrophe
Soyuz 1 and Soyuz 11.
Soyuz craft lands short of destination, 2007, damaged cable incontrol panel, see also here.



48. Great Concert Disasters:

Great Concert Disasters (Music)



49. Tacoma Bridge (not a computer bug)
(collapse, 1940)

Tacoma Narrows
Resonance, Tacoma Narrows bridge failure
History of bridge , Paper, pictures
video 1 and video 2



50. Railway Bug (not a computer bug, 1992?)

After reunification the originally double-tracked line
between Eichenberg - Arenshausen (near Kassel and Erfurt)
should be restored with only one track.
Two building sites start in Hessen and in Thüringen.
Both groups built the'right' track!

Newsgroup: de.etc.bahn.eisenbahn, October 1999
Additional Stories



51. Y2K

Risk Digest 22.20
Legacy of Y2K
Wikipedia: Year 2000 Problem
Das Jahr-2000-Problem Year 2000 Problem
Y2K im Rueckblick
Bug Bite 2000


See also leap year, holiday vs. working day,

Napoleon wins battle at Austerlitz because of Russina/Austrian calendar date confusion

Year 2010 bug on German bankcards (Jan 4 2010): German bank cards hit by 2010 bug, FT.
See also What is the technical reason behind the 2010 card problems, 2010-Bug laesst Bankkunden verzweifeln or
Gemalto schliesst Austausch von Karten nicht aus and Gemalto announcement.
Risk Digest 25.89 and Bank Tech.



52. Software Testing:

BYTE: How Software doesn't work
ConTest / IBM
Report of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
MTSU - STORM
STAMP and STPA
Softwaretesting.de
Automatic Verification and Analysis of Complex Systems
Schaden durch Softwarefehler


53. Rounding Errors

What is Rounding error, Pete Stewart:
Roundtalk or citation in netlib
Kahan and IEEE
How futile are mindless assessments of roundoff in floating-point computation (Kahan)
Numerical Computation Guide (or here), and Basic issues in float.
D. Goldberg: What every computer scientist should know about floating-point arithmetic
SPEC Benchmarks and float
Java's float
Cosine bug in Linux

New: Ill-conditioned Correlation Matrices in Psychology

Accuracy and Stability of numerical Algorithms, book by Nick Higham.

Numerical Computing with IEEE Floating Point Arithmetic, book by Michael Overton.




General Web Sites on Bugs and Reliability:

Collections of Bugs:


Risks Digest: http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/
z.B. Sojourner, Altona, Reverse Thrust, Banking bugs, DMV California, SDI
http://www.egroups.com/group/risks--uga.cc.uga.edu/
Newsgroup comp.risks

http://www.math.psu.edu/dna/disasters/
Sleipner, Ariane 5, Patriot

N. Leveson (Ariane 5, MCO, MPL, Challenger, Titan/Centaur/Milstar, Warsaw Airbus

http://www.eee.bham.ac.uk/dsvp_gr/roxby/ee4a3/Lecture2/
Denver, Clementine, Intel Pentium, Software Engineering in general

bugnet
Y2K, Windows 98, PC Bug Fixes.

Disasters
Shuttle simulator, Quality control

Stories for Computation: Why Care is Needed (Cerro Grand Fire (wrong model for fire), Cassini-Huygens, Hubble (small value, but not zero), Apollo 11 (gravity considered as repulsive instead of attractive), Vincennes, Ozon whole (dramatic data vlaues were rejected by software)

Risks Digest Disaster List January 1986

Illustrative Risks in the Use of Computer Systems, November 1986 Risks Digest.

Questions and Answers, August 1986, Risks Digest.

Safety and Hazard Analysis: Therac 25, NASA Space Shuttle Safety

Accident reports (MCO, MPL, Ariane 5, Challenger, Titan/Centaur/Milstar, Airbus Warsaw,...)

Seminar TUM, Prof. Nipkow (Therac, MCO, Ariane, Pentium, Hamburg Altona, STS-1, Airbus Warshaw)

trenches
Bank of America, US Federal Reserve System, Iranian Airbus, Department of Motor Vehicles California, Lion King CD, ...

http://infotech.fanshawec.on.ca/gsantor/Computing/FamousBugs.htm
Therac-25, London Ambulance System, Taurus Stock Exchange program, E-mail buffer overflow, USS Yorktown, ...

http://www-aix.gsi.de/~giese/swr/
(in German): Software in general, Mariner 1, AT&T, Therac-25, Voyager 2, Gemini, Apollo, Space Shuttle, Eole, Phobos, SDI, Exocet, F-16, Airplanes, NORAD, new Planet 1991, Bank bugs,Vancouver, general Literature, and much more.

http://www.softwareqatest.com/qatfaq1.html#FAQ1_3
Russian early-warning monitoring system 1983, Telephone bugs, Banking bugs, Software Engineering in general, ...

http://www.cs.tau.ac.il/~nachumd/verify/horror.html
Horror Stories: Airbus, London Ambulance, Exocet, Space Shuttle, NORAD, airplanes, AEGIS, Banking bugs, and much more.

Mirror of http://www.byte.com/art/9509/sec7/art20.htm
BYTE: SDI, Banking bugs, Windows, Therac-25, Wall Street,...

SEN computer horror stories (or here)
Vancouver Stock Market Index, BART, Weather Prediction, airplanes, Norad, and much more.

Disaster page by Kees Vuik (Patriot, Ariane, Euro conversion, Vancouver, ...)

Seminar Uni Koblenz, also here (Ariane, Pentium, Mars Climate Orbiter and Sojourner, Hamburg Altona, Green party convent,...)

Software Disasters (Airbus crash, Therac, Ariane,...)

10 SW bugs: Norad, ozone,..

11 infamous software bugs: Windowds genuine, Osprey aircraft crash, end-of-the-world bugs,..

Software Bugs: MacIn tax, ebay, Tivo, Nintendo, Skype, Android, Zune-Player, Google Malware,..

History's worst software bugs

Peter Ladkin collection

Collection of well-known software failures (MCO, Denver,..)

Windows 95 bug collection

Datensicherheit (Kreditkarten, RFID,..)

Illustrative risks, PGN

Bug Case Studies (non-computer), Koperski (power plant, Quebec Bridge,..)

Computer anectoda and techtales



Paper, talks, and books on reliable Software:

Safe and Reliable Computer Control by Henrik Thane
wikipedia: Computer_bug, see also here
Accuracy and Reliability in Scientific Computing -
SciAmSept1994
Illustrative Risks - P.G. Neumann
Problems with space flights
Software Aging, talk by D. Parnas
Elektronikfehler by J. Niehaus
Reliability of computer systems
Software Computing: Hazards
Kleine BUGs, große GAUs (Vortrag)
Calculemus (Vortrag)
Spass (Fun) am Absturz von Computern und Netzen? Prof. Brunnstein (in German): Spass am Absturz and Gesammelte Pannen
Analyse und Evaluation der Softwareentwicklung in Deutschland
Nancy Leveson: Safeware
G.J. Myers: Software Reliability Principles and Practice
Digital Woes by Lauren Ruth Wiener
Bill Gates Interview: No Bugs in WIN95
Comparison: computers to Cars, 2002
Microsoft statement on bugs
Analysis of software bug causes and its prevention, Nakashima, Oyama, Hisada, Ishii, Information and Software Technology 41(15), 1059-1068, 1999
Rochlin: Trapped in the Net
Whys and Whynots of Software Engineering, Marsha Chechik, 1997
Software Safety with examples, NCSU
Software safety requirements, with examples, Strathclyde
Code Quality: The open source prespective,Spinellis
Writing Scientific Software, Oliveira, Stewart

Criticizing the NASA Management: NASA cultural failures, NASA has history of glitches , Lost in Space , NASA Management , and NASA buys space shuttle 8086 computer chips at Ebay.



Further Keywords:

The urban legend: Neuron Net and tank recognition
The funny Hi-Tech Toilet Glitch

Further Banking Bugs: Bank of America, US Federal Reserve System, Westpac
(Loss of accounts, wrong transfers, ATM teller) (see trenches, Softwarequatest, Probleme der Datenverarbeitung, Horror, Notorious Bugs




Bugs in general:


INTEL: no more than 80-90 Bugs in Pentium.

Standard Software: 25 bugs per 1000 lines of program.
Good Software: 2 errors per 1000 lines.
Space Shuttle Software: < 1 errors per 10000 lines.

Example Handy (Cellular Phone):
200 000 lines of program: up to 600 errors.

Windows-95: 10 Mill. lines: up to 200 000 errors. See also
catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/20.82.html#subj4
catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/20.80.html#subj9
catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/20.82.html#subj7

Banana Software: Let the Software ripe at the customer!
'It's not a bug, it's a feature'





Further interesting stories:

Image Processing: The story of Lena
The spinach, Iron, Popeye story
Stealth Software stolen?



2. Pentium Processor:
A bug in the floating point unit (FPU) of the Pentium II and the Pentium Pro processors, also known as the Pentium II and Pentium Pro FPU bug or the flag erratum (as it is referenced by Intel). This bug occurs with operations that convert floating point numbers into integers (compare also Ariane-5 explosion).



2. Pentium Processor:
Calculator applet in Windows gives wrong answers (1991), see Don't use the calculator .



4. Mars Climate Orbiter
'The recent crash of the Mars Orbiter was the direct consequence of unbelievably bad numerics done by the contractor who supplied a navigational instrument to NASA for the spacecraft. That instrument computed its output, using Imperial units!!! And nobody at NASA noticed that there was anything odd about the output of that instrument, until the inquest which followed the crash.' (Garry J. Tee)

'Actually, it was a mixture of pounds and kilograms. Lockheed was sending small-force events to JPL in pound-second units, but the contract had specified Newton-second units, and that was what the JPL software expected.
It wasn't really a software error in the classical sense -- both programs performed according to their specifications. It was a validation error: Lockheed had built the wrong program correctly.' (Van Snyder)

SDI laser experiment 1985 failed because computer data was in nautical miles instead of feet, see 31.

Gemini V missed landing point, because program ignored motion of the earth around the sun, see 27.

The battle of Austerlitz between Napoleon and the Austrian-Russian coalition was lost because Austrians used the Gregorian calender and Russians the Julian; so the Russian started too late to unite with the Austrian forces. Hence General Mack von Leiberich forfeited the first battle near Ulm on september 25th 1805 loosing 70.000 soldiers. At the battle of Austerlitz there were only 85.400 soldiers (16.000 Austrians left) of the coalition against 73.000 men fighting for Napoleon, see here in German or here in English.



6. NASA Mariner 1
Mariner 18 lost due to missing NOT in program, see 5/2



14. ROSAT-Bug
In 1991 a group in Mancester working in Radio Astronomy anounced the first discovery of a planet outside of our solar system. One year later it turned out that they had an error in the formula of the motion of the earth around the sun.



15. Sleipner Offshore Platform
A new ferry named Sleipner sank in autumn '99; Norwegians should avoid the name 'Sleipner'.
Sleipner is a name from Viking mythology, namely the eight legged horse of Odin, see Wikipedia on Sleipnir.



17. Thunderstorm "Lothar", Berliner Morgenpost, 27.1.2000
Kaum ein Lueftchen regte sich am zweiten Weihnachtsfeiertag des Jahres 1999 am Bodensee. Nur das Barometer an der Wand deutete Ungewoehnliches an: Der Luftdruck sackte in den Keller, als waere das Geraet hoffnungslos defekt. Genau so hatte auch das Prognoseprogramm des deutschen Wetterdienstes reagiert, als in der Nacht zuvor automatische Messgeraete meldeten, der Luftdruck ueber der Biskaya sei innerhalb von drei Stunden um zwanzig Hektopascal gesunken. Ein solch rascher Abfall aber war in dieser Weltgegend noch nie registriert worden. Deshalb tat das Programm etwas sehr Logisches: Es interpretierte den extremen Luftdruckabfall als Messfehler - und ignorierte ihn. Die Wettervorhersage fuer den 26. Dezember warnte dann nur vor Windgeschwindigkeiten bis zu 90 Kilometern in der Stunde. ......



22. 180 Degree Bugs:
Torpedos, that deviate more than 90 degree, explode to avoid self destruction of the ship. Once upon a time a ship fired a torpedo but the torpedo was jammed in the tube. Then the captain gave the command: Let's turn around and return to the harbour!



44. Railway Bug
Inverse Story: One track of the line Rostock - Schwaan had to be pulled down and brought to Russia after World War II as reparation; on both sides they pull down the right track!
Shifted Story: Building a railway line from Austria to Germany in the last century; at the meeting point there is a difference in altitude of 0.8 m, because Germany refers to the North Sea and Austria to the Mediterranean Sea.



9. Euro Conversion
1 EURO = 1.95583 DM --> 0.01 DM = 0.01 Euro and 0.01 EURO = 0.02 DM



35. ATM, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 09.01.2002:
Glückspilz mit Geldsegen ohne Geheimzahl
Manche Zeitgenossen ohne Zahlengedächtnis mögen sich in den vergangenen ersten Tagen des neuen Jahres als Glückspilze gefühlt haben: Ganz ohne Geheimzahl konnten Postbank-Kunden mit ihrer Sparcard bis Montagabend unbegrenzt Geld abheben. Das bestätigte Unternehmenssprecher Hartmut Schlegel: «Aufgrund eines Softwareproblems konnten bei allen anderen Geldinstituten außer der Postbank selbst mit beliebigen Pincodes Euro abgehoben werden, ohne dass das Sparkonto mit der abgehobenen Summe belastet wurde.»
Zwar habe die Postbank bereits in den ersten Tagen des Jahres den Fehler bei der Ende Dezember neu installierten Software bemerkt. «Da das Schadensrisiko aus unserer Sicht minimal war, haben wir den Fehler korrigiert, ohne das System für unsere Kunden zu sperren. Gegenwärtig wissen wir nur von einem einzigen Fall in Hamburg, wo der Softwarefehler zufällig entdeckt wurde. Der Betroffene muss das abgehobene Geld zurückgeben», so Schlegel weiter. ....



5. Green Party Convent fails, Stuttgarter Zeitung, 25.2.2002:
Parteitag platzt wegen eines Computerfehlers .....
Die Auszählung dauerte lange. 201 Delegierte hatten ihre Stimme abgegeben. Die Satzung begrenzt die Zahl der Vertreter der Basis aber auf 200....

Bei genauer Betrachtung ist zwei plus zwei eben drei, Stuttgarter Zeitung, 26.6.2002:
Von Rainer Klüting und Renate Allgöwer
... Was bei der Einladung zur Wahlversammlung der Grünen passiert ist, hätten die grünen Rechner im Anfängerkurs an der Volkshochschule lernen können. Excel, so lernt man dort, kann krumme Zahlen auf dem Bildschirm gerundet anzeigen. Beim Runden wird aus der Zahl 1,5 eine 2. Die 2 erscheint am Bildschirm, aber intern merkt sich Excel die krumme Zahl. Addiert man nun zwei solcher Zahlen, dann macht Excel aus 1,5 plus 1,5 korrekterweise 3. Am Bildschirm aber ist zu lesen: 2 plus 2 ist 3.
So oder ähnlich muss es passiert sein. Die Grünen hatten 200 Delegiertenplätze zu vergeben. Um die 47 Wahlkreise möglichst gerecht zu berücksichtigen, wird deshalb die Mitgliederzahl eines Wahlkreises durch die Gesamtzahl der Mitglieder im Land geteilt und dann mit 200 malgenommen. Dabei kann herauskommen, dass Wahlkreis A 1,5 Delegierte schicken darf, Wahlkreis B 7,3 und Wahlkreis C 3,9 Delegierte.
Wahlkreis A bekommt zwei Delegierte, denn diese Mindestzahl wird jedem Kreis zugestanden. Gibt es zehn solcher kleinen Wahlkreise, sind damit bereits zwanzig Delegiertenplätze vergeben. Wahlkreis B bekommt nun zunächst sieben, Wahlkreis C drei Delegierte, entsprechend den Ziffern vor dem Komma. Sind auf diese Weise alle Wahlkreise berücksichtigt, bleiben in der Regel noch freie Plätze übrig. Die werden nach den Zahlen hinter dem Komma vergeben. Wahlkreis C hat, wegen der Neun hinter dem Komma, gute Chancen auf einen weiteren Platz, Wahlkreis B nicht so gute.
So wird auf möglichst gerechte Weise gewährleistet, dass keinem Wahlkreis ein halber oder ein Vierteldelegierter bewilligt wird. Doch Excel rechnet nicht mit Delegierten, sondern mit Zahlen, und die dürfen krumm sein. Selbstverständlich kann Excel auch mit ganzen oder gerundeten Zahlen rechnen. Dem Grünen-Büro sei an dieser Stelle die Tabellenfunktion "Runden" empfohlen, die eine krumme Zahl auf eine beliebige Anzahl von Stellen rundet.
Oder, noch einfacher: In den Einstell-Optionen gibt es einen Schalter mit der zugegeben rätselhaften Beschriftung "Genauigkeit wie angezeigt". Klickt man diesen Schalter an, rechnet Excel exakt mit den Zahlen, die auf dem Bildschirm angezeigt sind. Dieser kleine Trick hätte den Grünen vermutlich einen zweiten Anlauf zum Wahlparteitag erspart. Dann nämlich hätte am Ende der Delegiertenliste als Summe die Zahl 202 gestanden. Und das sind zwei zu viel. ...
See also Seminar

NASA management: Berliner Morgenpost, 12.Mai 2002: NASA is buying replacement parts for Space Shuttle computer chips at ebay
NASA kauft Ersatzteile für Spaceshuttle bei eBay und Yahoo Houston. Das Raumfahrtprogramm der USA ist abhängig von Ersatzteilen, die nicht mehr produziert werden. Wie die New York Times berichtet, sucht die NASA für ihre Spaceshuttles Computerchips, die nicht mehr ...