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    An article appeared in Scientific American listing the Top 5 Bugs in History, The author picked these five:

    1. The AT&T long distance issue
    2. Intel’s Pentium chip maths error
    3. Windows anti-piracy software locking out genuine users
    4. The Mars Orbiter crashing
    5. The famous Apple Maps

    I was trying to think of the most infamous bugs I have heard of. The one I could think of was the European Space Agency sending two rockets into the wrong orbit because of a software bug.

    Can anyone think of any more? It’s a bit of fun. We might even come up with out own Top 10 list.


    @ronan Thanks for bringing a light on expensive bugs. I not believe they are very expensive bugs. In practice with business & reputation management many companies hide their product / app well known bugs until they exploited by hackers/esc-test/people and media.

    Also we can dig a history and check list of software bugs on wikipedia


    One classic bug (which should be particularly relevant to testers) occurred when Knight Capital, an American stock investment company, accidentally released some of its test code into the live trading environment, causing its systems to make 400 million share trades in just 45 minutes. It was also appeared to be buying high and selling low, resulting in what one observer referred to as “a system that’s very efficient at burning money”.

    The incident wiped $440m from the value of Knight Capital in a single day, and taught us all an important lesson about checking your release code before deploying!

    You can read more in this article: How one bad algorithm cost traders $440m


    I wonder what happened at the Bank of England where their CHAPS payment system crashed just this week? The BoE Clearing House Automated Payments System (CHAPS) processes around 138,000 payments per day worth the gargantuan sum of £227bn!!

    If it is a software bug, then surely it makes this list?

    More details can be found here:



    Talk about being topical. The latest to add to the list happened this week. The Back of England payments system that allows house payments to be transferred and that big businesses use failed on Monday. Apparently it was caused by “technical issue related to some routine maintenance”. Someone might be in trouble there! Link


    A more recent one: http://www.ifc0nfig.com/moonpig-vulnerability/. I noticed @stephen-janaway retweeted this earlier.

    It’d be interesting to know what testers think of this – what could testing have done to avoid this?


    The software of Ariane 5 not being updated for the tremendous G-forces on launch compared to the Ariane 4 rocket.
    On the first launch the software decided the rocket had become uncontrollable and destroyed a perfectly good rocket and its payload.


    Well I think this one just entered the list.

    A bug that could turn off the engines of a jet aeroplane.


    Just got another good one on Twitter from EuroSTAR Speaker Paul Coyne!


    Spotted this on Mashable this morning! I wouldn’t be too impressed if my friends did this to me 😕


    End-user programming – in either Excel formulas or VBA – causes quite a few expensive “sorcerer’s apprentice” mistakes.
    For a long list of spreadsheet disasters, see


    @Patrick Wow. You think when you read spreadsheet errors that they might not have much impact but when you see $6 million accounting error due to a spreadsheet error, it definitely puts them up there with the very embarrassing bugs listed here.

    Thanks for pointing us towards that list.


    Recently there was a technical glitch at the Indian stock exchange, that halted trading for almost 3 hours. The back-up system also did not fire. Reading about it, I came across the 5 tech snags that shook stock markets


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