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Internet outages, blackouts, and a plethora of strange incidents


The technological world we live in is often more sensitive to disruptions than people care to admit. We have often written about various kinds of incidents and outages on the Internet, as well as the occasional blackout and software bug. After all, via our uptime monitoring service we deal with downtime-related issues every single day, so it’s a fascinating subject to us.
This is a set of articles that all show Murphy’s Law in action. If things can go wrong, they will. Pretty much nothing is safe from Mr. Murphy…

Mother nature (and trucks) on the attack

  • Outages caused by raccoons, thieves and random gunfire – Power outages are a frequent cause of data center trouble and other service interruptions. We decided to search the news for various causes of power and network outages, and came back with some rather unusual results. Listed here are some of the ones we found for a single week. It really seems like almost anything can happen.
  • Kamikaze squirrels kill electricity, over and over again – Next time your home or office has a blackout, there’s a good chance you can blame a squirrel. Tens of thousands of outages are caused every year by suicidal squirrels being where they shouldn’t be.
  • Mother Nature’s assault on electricity and the Internet – We may be screwing up Mother Nature, but she is getting back at us in her own way. And she knows we love electricity and the Internet. Though a lot of outages are man-made, there are a huge amount of power outages directly caused by nature every year. Causes include storms and hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, and more often than not, animals too curious for their own best. These are some examples from 2008.

Internet incidents

  • The major incidents on the Internet in 2007 – We gathered 13 of the most notable Internet-related outages and incidents that happened in 2007. Why 13? Though you usually can’t blame downtime on bad luck, we thought it was an appropriate number for a collection like this.
  • The major Internet outages so far in 2008 – The first few months of 2008 were quite eventful on the Internet when it comes to incidents and outages for various services. This is a summary of some of the major ones from the beginning of 2008. For the full year, see the one below.
  • The major incidents on the Internet in 2008 – We have gathered 10 of the most noteworthy incidents on the Internet in 2008. This was another eventful year, full of its share of accidents and incidents that disrupted the Internet and the WWW. We have included problems ranging from website outages and service issues to large-scale network interruptions. You are sure to recognize several of them.
  • Conflicting opinions causing DDoS blitzkriegs online – Sometimes disagreements and conflicts spill over from real life to online, and sometimes people go completely overboard and launch cyber attacks on services or websites they dislike, doing their best to sabotage them and often causing some serious downtime. This article takes a look at some high-profile examples of cyber attacks.

Serious software bugs and system problems

  • When trading stops: Major stock exchange outages this decade – The recent world-wide financial chaos has reminded us how sensitive the stock market is, with sharp up- and downturns. Now imagine the reaction of the stock traders if they couldn’t trade at all. It doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen. We have gathered up some of the major stock exchange outages that have occurred so far this decade (i.e. since 2000 and onward) and listed when and why they happened.
  • 10 historical software bugs with extreme consequences – This article is about some of the more dire consequences of software errors through the years. Incidents that make recent Gmail outages seem rather trivial.

We hope you found these articles interesting. Thanks for taking the time to read this far! 🙂
Photo by TangoPango.

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