1Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments
2Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments – 1982: Trans-Siberian Pipeline explosion proves how hard hackers can hit
Cyber warfare is not just limited to network or data attacks.
The CIA planted a Trojan in software that Soviet agents were allowed to steal–and which caused the large
3Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments – 1988: USS Vincennes shoots down civilian airliner
A properly functioning system can still misinform the user.
A complex situation was all too easily misunderstood, resulting in a tragic mistake. User interface desi
4Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments – 1990: AT&T network commits distributed suicide
Tests must admit possibility of failure, and test the failure modes.
Out of service messages to neighboring network nodes triggered a bug
5Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments – 1994: Pentium FDIV bug makes floating-point division a mainstream joke
Most non-trivial hardware is largely software.
Missing entries in a hardware-resident lookup table affected multiple instructions, introdu
6Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments – 1995: Syncronys SoftRAM makes people see what they want to see
Its easy for people to fool themselves to keep from feeling foolish.
700,000 users spent $30 for software that supposedly made their PCs memory work be
7Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments – 1996: Kerberos random number generator finally gets random
Security systems are chains with many links–one weak link is too many.
A cryptosystem with a weak random number generator can not be any stronger than that fl
8Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments – 1998: USS Yorktown is disabled by software failures
Systems simply must be designed to accommodate user errors and gracefully degrade.
The naval vessel Yorktown was towed into port several times because of Windows NT fail
9Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments – 1999: Mars Climate Orbiter crashes on metric/English mismatch
Correct solutions to parts of a problem dont necessarily combine to solve the problem.
Dispersed development teams are on the rise as enterprises turn to outsour
10Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments – 1999: Melissa Worm teaches crucial lessons — or does it?
How many of this worms enablers are still common IT practice?
The worm generated so much traffic, so quickly, that some sites had to turn off their e-ma
11Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments – 2005: FBI Virtual Case File project is abandoned
Complex projects create force fields of fantasy–people want to believe they can succeed.
Two years before a $170 million project
12Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments – 2005: ChoicePoint admits to unwise data disclosures
13Peter Coffees Dirty Dozen IT Embarrassments – 2005: Sony rootkit idiocy makes DRM nightmare real
Whos to say whos a bad guy, when the good guys wear the same black hats?
Sony Corp. of America/Bertelsmann AG Artists used rootkit-style techniques to hide fro