The 8 Worst Programming Mistakes in History

Many feared that Y2K could bring down computers and electronics across the world. I remember my first DVD player bearing a shiny “Y2K Compliant” sticker. While the year 2000 rang in rather uneventfully from a software side, updating computers and apps throughout every industry cost roughly $300 billion. Computers did not crash. Life proceeded as normal. But not without loads of money and work, which according to Slate reports may have been a waste.Computer Science Computer Science Computer Science Computer Science Computer Science

Why it’s one of the worst programming mistakes: The Y2K panic was extremely costly, to the tune of $300 billion. Plus, resources were redirected to fix this potential problem.

Heartbleed Bug

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Appearing in the OpenSSL library, the Heartbleed Bug is a dangerous security vulnerability. The Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol employs the OpenSSL cryptography library. Because of its widespread use in TLS, Heartbleed spread quickly. This bug allows virtually anyone on the internet to read memory on machines running affected iterations of OpenSSL. Up to 64 kb of system memory could be read. While the Heartbleed Bug was revealed to the public in 2014, it rolled out in 2012.

Improper input validation on account of a missing bounds check within the TLS heartbeat extension caused the bug. Since it was a bug in the heartbeat extension, the name Heartbleed thus spawned. A 2014 article in The Register reported that 1.5% of the most popular TLS-enabled sites remained vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug. However TLS implementations aside from OpenSSL were untouched. Therefore the Windows version of TLS and Mozilla’s Network Security Services were unaffected by the Heartbleed Bug. A patch eventually fixed the problem with OpenSSL version 1.0.1g. By adding bounds checks to prevent buffer over-read, the Heartbleed Bug was successfully patched.Computer Science Computer Science Computer Science Computer Science Computer Science

Why it’s one of the worst programming mistakes: The Heartbleed Bug created a major security threat. The time between launch and patching left affected systems vulnerable for years. Any time there’s an computer vulnerability problem, this creates a huge data security concern.

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