Software Horror Stories: I found this link buried in the argument between doctors and progammers. It’s a big list of instances where software errors have caused serious problems “beyond the system,” including death.
The 1988 shooting down of the Airbus 320 by the USS Vincennes was attributed to the cryptic and misleading output displayed by the tracking software. […]
An Air New Zealand airliner crashed into an Antarctic mountain; its crew had not been told that the input data to its navigational computer, which described its flight plan, had been changed. […]
Rumor has it that, when they shut down the IBM 7094 at MIT in 1973, they found a low-priority process that had been submitted in 1967 and had not yet been run. […]
An Iraqi Scud missile hit Dhahran barracks, leaving 28 dead and 98 wounded. The incoming missile was not detected by the Patriot defenses, whose clock had drifted .36 seconds during the 4-day continuous siege, the error increasing with elapsed time since the system was turned on. This software flaw prevented real-time tracking. The specifications called for aircraft speeds, not Mach 6 missiles, for 14-hour continuous performance, not 100. Patched software arrived via air one day later.