MacOS High Sierra bug: blank password let anyone take control of a Mac

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The Guardian – November 30, 2017

IMPACT: discovered a couple of weeks ago and disclosed in an Apple developer support forum… allow[s] anyone to access locked settings on a Mac using the user name “root” and no password, and subsequently unlock the computer

IMPACT: embarrassing for the company and dangerous, allowing anyone with physical access – and in some instances remote access – to a Mac computer to gain full access to user data

ROOT CAUSE (non official): Some bug in authentication is ENABLING root with no password the first time it fails

COMPANY RESPONSE: Experts also warn against trying out the bug for yourself, as once enabled the flaw can then be more easily exploited even on a locked Mac.

COMPANY RESPONSE: We greatly regret this error and we apologise… We are auditing our development processes to help prevent this from happening again

Macy’s suffers a technical glitch at the worst possible time — Black Friday

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Digital Trends – November 25, 2017

AFFECTED: Macy’s had significant trouble processing credit cards and gift cards [on] .. the busiest shopping day in the U.S

AFFECTED: Macy’s stores across the country were suffering the same outages

IMPACT: frustrated customers and some lost revenue

IMPACT: caused some transactions to take longer to process

ROOT CAUSE: a capacity-related issue

COMPANY RESPONSE: “We have fully resolved today’s system issues” … “and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience today’s system slowdown”

Technical Glitch Caused Collision Of SMRT Trains: Singapore Authority

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Malaysian Digest – November 16, 2017

IMPACT: collision between two Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains that resulted in 28 people being injured

ROOT CAUSE: a software problem on one of the trains

ROOT CAUSE: a faulty signalling system … had inadvertently removed a software protection feature on the first of two trains… giving off a train profile on the new signalling system as a three-car train instead of a six-car train.

… the second train detected the first train as a three-car train and misjudged the distance between the two trains, therefore resulting in the collision

COMPANY RESPONSE: We are deeply sorry… let’s play doubly safe… we have a whole day to do a thorough check before we resume…

Computer glitch costs punters

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Fiji Times – November 17, 2017

ROOT CAUSE: a technical issue with a new (computer) program in our temporary outlets
ROOT CAUSE: “Due to poor internet availability, changes could not be made to three out of our 47 affected outlets on the day
IMPACT: for a short period, (in all but the three outlets)… punters not being able to bet on three horses during the 2017 Melbourne Cup – including the eventual winner, Rekindling
IMPACT: “There were people who would have won thousands.
“So for those of us who had gone to bet for number 22 – Rekindling – we were denied our winnings and something has to be done about this.”


Technical glitch wipes out patient feedback on AHS website

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Calgary Sun – November 17, 2017

ROOT CAUSE: technical… issues [with the Alberta Health Services (AHS) online patient portal] with the feedback portal

IMPACT: loss of comments submitted between Nov. 9 and Nov. 14…. between 2o to 50 feedback forms may have been lost

FOLLOW UP: the health ministry is asking anybody who submitted feedback during that time to re-send their comments.

Australia Post’s new delivery robot no better than an esky on wheels, expert says

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The Guardian – November 14, 2017

IMPACT: an autonomous robot that experts say is of limited use … the prototype must be accompanied by a human Australia Post employee, and can only hold one parcel at a time

TRIAL RUN: “This … trial … is the first step to gauging whether there is community support or demand to receive parcels in this way.”

TESTING TO SOLVE HUMAN PROBLEM: “We know that receiving a ‘sorry we missed you’ card can be frustrating. So we’re looking at new ways to redeliver parcels after hours,” he said.

OVH suffers two-hour outage in two locations due to software bug, electrical issue

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Data Center Dynamics – November 10, 2017

ROOT CAUSE: a software bug in the optical equipment

AFFECTED: “caused the configuration to be lost and the connection to be cut.”

IMPACT: the company’s fiber optic network was cut off in its Roubaix facility – which has interconnection points in Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London and Brussels

COMPANY REACTION: The problem was fixed by loading the software configuration backup as soon as the issue was identified as such.

COMPANY REACTION: The company’s founder, owner, CEO and chairman, Octave Klaba, kept customers updated on Twitter throughout.