10 of the Most Epic Software Errors

Software are designed by humans and they sometimes contain errors that can be either due to misinterpretation of the problem, a bad design or simply due to human error. Whereas some errors are small inconveniences that can be overlooked but there are also some great errors that can even affect millions of people. Below is the list of 10 such epic software errors that have been created a fuss among people.

10. Therac-25


Therac-25 was a device which was used for the administration of radiation therapy for cancer patients. The machines used two modes of operation. One of them was to concentrate the electron beam of high energy at target which converts the beam into X-rays which was passed into the patients. The error was an arithmetic overflow in this mechanism and the high energy beams was targeted directly into the patients which caused the deaths of 4 patients during 1985-1987.

9. Undetected Hole in Ozone Layer

Undetected Hole in Ozone Layer

The incident of undetected hole in the ozone layer was not very famous. The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica remain undetected for a very long time because of the error in the software which was used by NASA for data analysis. This error was due to the fact that the software was designed to ignore the values that deviate greatly form the measurements expected. The software was used from 1978-1985.

8. WW3 1980

WW3 1980

A biggest mistake was done by NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command). The software reported that United States is under attack in 1980. The problem was caused by a faulty circuit. Again in 1893, incoming missiles into the US territory was reported by a Soviet satellite. But the in charge officer taken it as a false alarm and didn’t took any action which would destroy half the world otherwise.

7. USS Yorktown Incident

USS Yorktown Incident

Divide by zero is always a controversial calculation and a major software error that causes malfunctioning. An embarrassing incident occurs with the USS Yorktown who faced a complete failure of propulsion system. The system remained dead for three hours under water because some crew member typed “0” into DBMS which then used into division by the system.

6. Trans-Siberian Gas Pipeline Explosion

Trans-Siberian Gas Pipeline Explosion

This incident was happened because of deliberately introduced bug into the software which would have never been happened. During the Cold War between Russia and US, the CIA deliberately placed bugs into the software that was supposed to be used for controlling the Trans-Siberian gas pipeline. This malfunctioning causes the largest non-nuclear explosion which was even seen from space. The incident took place in 1982.

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