Reidar Conradi, NTNU (Ed.): Computer Risks - Dataproblemer i Norge

  1. List of computer failures ("datafeil") documented in media, located by the Sesam search engine just now, and collected by Adresseavisen:
    Mostly Norwegian computer incidents.
  2. R-GSM telephony system down for three hours from 18:30, Monday 29 March 2010 - stopping most trains: There was a power supply short-cut and following failure in the central computer that supervises the Norwegian Railways' GSM-R telephony system. Also the backup power supply failed - actually, it just turned the central computer down. Hence, almost all train traffic was defaultly stopped for safety reasons, i.e., all traffic signals for trains went into red.
    The incident happened at the Railways' operation center at Marienborg in Trondheim - according to local manager Ørjan Berg-Johansen and press contact Thor Erik Skarpen in Jernbaneverket (who runs the railways' infrastructure). Some trains were, however, allowed to run at limited speed, using the private mobile phones of the train drivers as backup.
    The GSM-R system (R means Rail) is a closed and dedicated telephony system, which had been operational from Jan. 2006. It was introduced after a major train collision in Jan. 2000 just north of Åsta station at Rørosbanen North-East of Oslo, killing 29 people in what still is Norway's worst train accident.
    [Full togstans rammet titusenvis, Adresseavisen, 30 March 2010].
  3. Data Virus causes delays for police computers, Thursday 12 March - Saturday 14 March 2009: Also the emergency number 112 was affected.
    The Minister of Justice will be asked in Parliament about the problem, on the following Wednesday in "Spørretimen". The number of infected machines were going down that Saturday, but still causing problems. [Krever svar på datatrøbbel i politiet, Adresseavisen, 15 March 2009].
  4. No access to patient records at the new AHUS hospital, Saturday 29 Nov. 2008: AHUS is Norway's 5th largest hospital, and lies just east of Oslo. The hospital had moved most of their inventory into new hospital buildings in the preceding afternoon and night. However, when work resumed in the morning, the hospital staff could not get access to the main DIPS database of patient records. At 11:00 no more emergency patients were accepted, but luckily the nearest hospital is only 10 min. away. Then a bit after 15:00 that Saturday, the access problems seemed to easen up.
    Reason: the staff's relocated desk computers (PCs) still used the previous IP-address of the also relocated database server, said hospital manager Erik Kreyberg Normann. They had anyhow - as a general pre-caution - made paper copies of parts of the journals of the most critical patients before the move. So marginal harm done [Aftenposten and Romerike blad, Monday 1 Dec. 2008].
  5. Spuriously inaccessible emergency number 112 of Oslo Police for almost 24 hours, 15.-16. Sept. 2008: Due to outside "server" error, being corrected around noon on 16. Sept. 2008, according to information manager Unni Grøndal [Aftenposten 17. Sept. 2008].
  6. Triple mobile network collapse in Norway, 25-26 Aug. 2008:
    1. Banetele reports on network capacity problems in Oslo on 25. Aug. at 08:30, due to a "node" error which affected 50 company customers. The error was corrected around 13:00, said information manager Terje Luebeck in BaneTele.
    2. One of Telenor's optical fiber cables was cut on 26. Aug. at 13:40 at Grorud in the eastern part of Oslo, due to digging work. However, a "system error" also made the reserve solution useless. Some re-routing was possible, but the emergency number 113 stopped working from mobile phones, all according to information manager Anders Krokan in Telenor Mobile. Full mobile access was resumed at some unspecified time later.
    3. Netcom discovers on 26. Aug. at 16:30 reduced mobile phone capacity in the Oslo area, due to a "software error". Full mobile service was resumed at 18:00, according to communication manager Øyvind Vederhus in NetCom. He emphasized that more than 99,5% availability was very costly to achieve [Dagsavisen 26. Aug., Aftenposten 27. Aug.].
  7. Doubly-executed transactions for 200 000 customers in Sparebank 1 Midt-Norge, 20 Oct. 2007:
    Users of the netbank in this savings bank got 20th of Oct. 2007 an extra login message, saying that most of the bank's account holders "might" have had their pre-scheduled transactions executed twice that day. That is, periodic payment of the quarterly electricity bill or the local nenwspaper might have been executed twice, and to the loss of the account holder. The double transactions were gradually reversed over the next days [not reported in the newspapers].
  8. Phishing attempt by "cloning" of DnB NOR net bank, Sept. 2007:
    The net bank of Norway's largest bank was recently subject to an attempted fraud, and for the second time. Some of the bank's account holders received emails, saying that one of the bank's web servers were malfunctioning. They were therefore urged to log in on a specified web address, that contained a "fake" of the original home page of the bank. The goal was to solicit personal account numbers and related security codes from the account holders, and later use this information to tap their accounts. According to press spokesperson Marit Giske in DnB NOR, nobody seemed to have been fooled by this scheme ["Svindelforsøk mot DnB Nor-kunder", Klassekampen, Tuesday 11. Sept. 2007].
  9. Net bank of DnB NOR out of service, Oslo, Tuesday 31 July 2007:
    The net bank of Norway's largest bank was inaccessible on that Tuesday, affecting 800 000 customers. This adds to repeated problems lately, and Kredittilsynet (Credit Supervision Agency) is very concerned. about their computer problems [Adresseavisen: "Alvorlig svikt ved St. Olavs"].
  10. Computer failure in the Norwegian Directorate of Taxes, Thursday 19 April, 2007: The Directorate of Taxes in Norway has calculated a too high tax for people who owns primary capital certificates, if they had written 0.00 Norwegian Kroner (NOK) instead of the original price of the primary capital certificates. This came from a technical failure in preliminary processing of the information that shall be used to fill out shareholder statements. It affected all private shareholders in Norwegian companies and 34 000 owners of primary capital certificates in Norwegian savings banks [Aftenposten: "Data-feil resulterte i skattetabbe"].
  11. Computer failure stopped Postbanken (Norwegian Postal Bank), Friday 30 March - Monday 2 April, 2007: 600 000 customers were affected and discovered they could not use their bank cards in ATMs or in payment terminals in shops. All extra bank personnel were called in on duty that Monday in what normally is a quiet Easter week. Service was reinsstated on Tuesday morning, said information manager Nicolay Bruusgaard in Postbanken. The cause of the incident was not given. Also one week ago and three weeks ago there were similar irregularities for bank cards from the same bank [Aftenposten: "Kortkaos for Postbanken-kunder"].
  12. Computer failure partially stopped Scandiabanken, 8-11 Dec. 2006: Only partial and variable service was offered for bank cards and netbank for the bank's 270 000 Swedish and Norwegian customers. The bank has no branch offices for customers - it is a pure netbank. No specific reason for the computer problems were given [Aftenposten].
  13. Computer failure delayed newspaper printing, ca. 1 Dec. 2006:
    A combination of computer and other failures at Adresseavisen in Trondheim caused a three hours delay in printing the daily paper [Adresseavisen].
  14. Woman had her Skandiabanken account tapped for 95 000 kr in autumn 2006: An electronic burglar logged into her account, and transferred money to his own. The bank afterwards sharpened its secrity protocols for netbank login. It also compensated the woman for the loss. No further details were given or even acknowledged from the bank [Aftenposten].
  15. Outage of broadband and Internet access in Trondheim, Saturday 25 Nov. 2006, ca. 12:00-18:00:
    This affected 20,000 private broadband customers and 60,000 subscribers of Canal Digital's cable network all over Norway. In addition, most ATMs and payment terminals in Trondheim were out of service. The problem was located to two malfunctioning routers connected by a 10 gigabit line, located in "Ørnekloa" at the Lerkendal phone switch in Trondheim - according to Telenor spokesperson Atle Lessum [Adresseavisen].
  16. Most Norwegian ATMs out of service, Tuesday 24. Oct. 2006, ca. 14:00-17:00:
    Most Norwegian net banks, ATMs and payment terminals were out of service, due to a failure at EDB Business Partner who runs 70% of Norwegian bank systems. Information spokesperson Helge L'orang in EDB Business Partner says that the problem was fixed around 17:00, but would not comment on its cause [Aftenposten].
  17. Chaos in luggage handling at Oslo airport Gardermoen, 10 July 2006:
    Due to computer problems, the automatic luggage system at Gardermoen airport was out of service most of the day. This created flight delays and much frustration for passengers. Also other days in summer 2006 with similar malfunction at the same airport [Aftenposten].
  18. Computer system and telephony outage at St Olavs hospital, Trondheim, 19-20 June 2006:
    The new part of this hospital suffered complete computer failure for one day starting in the evening of Monday 19 June. The problems started in the IP-telephony part of the new data system and spread to the entire data system, i.e. no access to office phones, patient journals, lab results, medical images etc. Improvised use of the staff's private mobile phones saved the situation. And local copying machines (just needing normal electricity plug-ins) had to be used to make lists of mobile phone numbers, as normal printers were "out".
    No fatalities were reported, but several patients got delayed treatment. Cost of failure: estimated to 5 mill. NOK incl. overtime payment for the staff. Organizational issues in the requirements process are partly to blame, and is being studied. Main ICT provider: Telenor [Adresseavisen].
  19. Forsvarets datasystemer, per okt. 2005:
    Thomas Østerlie: "Forenkling - frå vondt til verre". Intervju med dr.stip. Thomas Østerlie ved IDI om problemer med samordning av 30-40 datasystemer for økonomistyring i Forsvaret [the magazine "" issued by Norges forskningsråd, Oct. 2005].
  20. Problemer med identifisering av innringere til nødnumre i 2004-2005:
    Den som ringer politiets fellesnummer 02800 eller ett av de tresifrede nødnumrene fra en ip-telefon, risikerer å havne et helt annet sted enn de skulle. Når noen ringer slike numre blir oppringningen automatisk rutet til nærmeste politi, ambulanse eller brannvesen. Men ved telefonering over internett blir samtalen rutet til det stedet der serveren står. I Sandefjord har dette ført til at folk som ringer politiet havner i Rogaland i stedet for i hjembyen, forteller operasjonsleder Petter Aronsen ved Vestfold politidistrikt.
    Samme problem er rapportert i Aftenposten aften 10. aug. 2005. De to siste ukene i juli fikk AMK-sentralen for Oslo og Akershus opptil 10 nødtelefoner daglig fra andre deler av landet.
    Og i november 2005 ble en nødopprigning fra Osloveien på Røros feilaktig lokalisert til Trondheim [ComputerWorld, 19. Oct. 2004].
  21. 1,2 millioner mobiltelefon-kunder til NetCom uten forbindelse 12. juni 2005:
    Nesten hele søndag 12. juni kunne ikke NetComs kunder benytte sine mobiltelefoner pga. indekseringsfeil i en nummer-database. Bedriftskunder som Aftenposten med 3000 abonnenter og Peppes Pizza var også berørt [Aftenposten].
  22. Lyssignal viste grønt pga. programmeringsfeil - nesten togkollisjon i Oslo 20. april 2005.
    Lyssignaler ved jernbanelinjer har ofte et forsignal og et hovedsignal. Et tomt flytog i vestlig retning mellom Sandvika og Slependen ca. kl 05:00 den 20. april 2005 hadde først grønt forsignal, men ble stoppet av et rødt hovedsignal. Forsignalet viste imidlertid fremdeles grønt, noe som var en programmeringsfeil. Et lokaltog i samme retning kunne derfor passere det grønne forsignalet, men måtte bråbremse for å unngå å kollidere med flytoget som stod stille foran det røde hovedsignalet. Heldigvis ingen skader på mennesker eller materiell [Aftenposten].
  23. NRK1 TV-program søndag 27. nov. 2004: IQ-test der web-system gav galt result.
    Feil i beregningen av IQ i TV-programmet "Test Nasjonen: den store IQ-testen"; Ifølge vaktsjef for nettredaksjonen NRK Underholdning Ulrik Rongved Amundsen: umulig å få noe særlig mer enn 70 i IQ på web-systemet som seerne kunne bruke. Det var utviklet av nederlandsk selskap Planet Technologies, og virket OK i tilsvarende TV-program i 2003.
    Se [Aftenposten].
  24. Fellesdata sletter terabyte med bankdata, aug. 2001:
    En feilaktig initialisering av tomme reservedisker førte til at arbeidskopiene istedenfor ble slettet. Dette første til 10 dagers driftsstans i aug. 2001 for bankkunder, som i mellomtiden ikke kunne bruke sine bankkort. Heldigvis gikk ingen vitale kundedata/transaksjoner tapt, da alt kunne tas inn fra sikkerhetskopier på magnetbånd [Aftenposten].

Some ICT problems in other countries

  1. Home page of Peter G. Neumann,
    who edits a Risks to the Public column in ACM SIGSOFT Softwar Engineering Notes.
  2. Robert N. Charette: Why software fails - continued (part 2):
    published in IEEE Spectrum, 42(9):42-49, Sept. 2005, see, with over 30 failed projects in "software hall of shame".
  3. United baggage handling system at Denver Airport:.
    United is switching from an IT-based system to a manual system.
  4. FBI's 170 mill. dollar Virtual Case File system.
    This is being scrapped. Instead, FBI is building a new system called Sentinel, which is scheduled for the end of 2006.
Source: PhD student Lorin Hochstein at University of Maryland,

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Last modified: Wed Apr 14 14:59:57 MEST 2010