More on what to watch out for systems that are too complex

The results are in and the Delta Airlines problems are winding down. Finally. The problem took much longer to fix than anyone would have expected, since there was only a single power outage blamed for a system-wide problem.
The lesson is that software problems can cascade and the systems are too hard to fix.
What does this suggest to you if you are a victim of this type of problem and don’t want to compromise your identity further?
Don’t put more of your data at risk. In particular, only use the single credit card and email address you used originally for your flight. Who knows what new problems have occurred in the Delta software? I don’t, and neither do most customer service personnel at Delta.

The Baltimore Ravens’s email system for its season ticket holders malfunctioned a few days ago, with 38 copies of the same message being sent.  The next day there was a mea culpa, with a statement that the two people responsible for the mail software would be busy fixing it.  The fix seems to have worked – no repetition of the same problems yet.  How could something so seemingly simple go so bad?  Systems that are too complex!

Years ago, I could see that the the entire system’s combination of simple, published user-IDs and very short, insecure passwords meant that there was no serious security.  I will use their system to sell unwanted tickets, but funds go directly in my season ticket holder’s account, which has absolutely no links to a credit card or bank account.  Always best to avoid getting into potentially weak systems with confidential information.  (Having the team do so poorly last year also reduced the possibility of any type of theft!)
Next post: A classic example of problems in systems not communicating properly.

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