Five Legendary Software Bugs

Software bugs are an inevitability when building any program or system, and dealing with them is all part of the development process.


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Using software testing services is a great way of weeding out the faults before the launch date arrives. And here are five instances of catastrophic bugs being uncovered after it was too late.

Windows Upset

After rolling out a solution to detect pirated copies of Windows XP, Microsoft encountered a bug back in 2007 whereby this software incorrectly identified legitimate versions of the OS as being pirated. This was due to a back-end installation mix-up on the servers tasked with checking if Windows was genuine on millions of PCs, with this bug taking 19 hours to set right.

Nuclear Danger

In 1983 a software bug in the USSR’s early warning system meant that it alerted operators of an impending nuclear strike inbound from the US. Lt. Col. Stanislaus Petrov used his initiative and worked out that there was no need to retaliate, saving lives and averting World War Three in the process.

Stock Market Disaster

One legendary software bug which many believe was responsible for the stock market crash of 1987 is noteworthy because, for once, the programming was not actually at fault. Although the misconception is something that persists to this day, the reality is that the software worked precisely as planned, with the only issue being that they did not twist things in favour of shareholders or those with market-linked pension pots.

Martian Mishaps

A costly bug for NASA was unearthed in 1998, with the Mars Climate Orbiter accidentally being given an incorrect angle of approach by software as it neared the red planet. If only they had made use of something like the Bug Finders Software testing service, they could have saved hundreds of millions of dollars.

Launch Errors

The European Space Agency has quite a few bugs on its books, including the one which caused the Ariane Flight 501 rocket to self-destruct less than a minute after launch in 1996.

The culprit behind this bug was the flawed interaction between 64-bit and 16-bit systems used on board the craft and the fact that a measure which was put in place to prevent arithmetic overflow had been deactivated, meaning that guidance systems were almost immediately incapable of operating as normal.