Cloud6 Top Software Failures

6 Top Software Failures

Do you want to know about some of the top software failures in human history? Company reports have documented several incidents resulting from technology and software failures. Although technology has advanced dramatically, millions of users worldwide still face software problems. So, what are some of the top software failures of all time?

The Yahoo Reports breach, HSBC payments glitch, and Bloomberg debt cancelation issue were among the top software failures in history.

Then there was the Airbus software bug alert and Reebok’s free trainers debacle. Besides these, a famous Prison Break glitch also occurred due to software failure.

And each of these incidents had a significant impact on the respective company and brand.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most impactful software failures that have occurred to date.

Top Software Failures That You Should Know

1. Data breach at Yahoo

As one of the latest breaches, Yahoo announced on September 22, 2016, that some 500 million credentials had been leaked from four years ago.

Many credential leaks took place in 2016, but this was the largest. According to the company, a government official conducted the entire hack. 

Additionally, it advised resetting passwords and answering security questions. Yahoo announced secure financial information, including passwords and bank accounts, were not compromised in the breach.

2. Bloomberg Abandons Debt Plan

The trading terminals at Bloomberg’s London office were unavailable for two hours in April 2016 due to a software glitch. 

A short-term Treasury bill auction was about to be held by the UK’s Debt Management Office at the time. Bloomberg reported that services resumed later and that hardware and software were to blame for the network failures.

3. HSBC Payments Bug

HSBC Payments Bug was also among the top software failures. Many people went without pay before the long Bank Holiday weekend in August 2015 due to HSBC not processing about 275,000 personal payments. 

An electronic payment system failure affected individual payments. As a result of this problem, BACS, which has widespread use in the UK, identified it as an ‘isolated incident.’

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4. Airbus Bug Report

In May 2015, Airbus issued an alert following a fatal crash caused by a software bug in Spain. Four air force crew members died, and two were injured in a test flight in Seville before this alert. 

As a result of the software issue, three of the aircraft’s four engines shut off within minutes of takeoff.

5. Free Reebok Trainers

Reebok customers who ordered trainers worth £100 online only paid for delivery in November 2013. After apologizing to the customer for not honoring the order, the vendor refunded delivery fees and gave a 20% discount on future orders. 

Facebook and other sports forums went wild with this pricing glitch, with customers hurrying to pick up £99.95 for CrossFit footwear for just £8.50 postage.

6. US Federal Bureau Of Prisons Premature Inmate Release

On December 29, 2015, the Federal Bureau of Prisons released more than 3,000 prisoners across the United States due to a software glitch. The glitch caused the scheduled release date for certain prisoners to be miscalculated, resulting in their early release. 

Fortunately, most of those affected were low-risk offenders who had served less than two years in prison. However, a small number of dangerous criminals were also released due to the error. 

This software failure was quickly discovered and corrected. Most of the prisoners who were released early were returned to custody within days. However, the incident raised serious concerns about the prison system’s safety and its records’ accuracy.


There will be errors and failures in any software system created by humans. Developing software requires thorough testing under different and realistic conditions, which is the organization’s responsibility. 

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They should ensure that the software they are promoting can help its users and not harm them. Many brands can prevent software failure by regularly monitoring their technology and software.

That said, by looking at some of the top software failures, other companies can learn from these mistakes.


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