October 4, 2012 | Mark Paradies

Melbourne Tunnel Traffic Problem NOT Due to Hacking – Just Common Human Error and Equipment Failure?

Interesting article in the Australian News about a computer traffic snafu in Melbourne, Australia.

Two main tunnels were shut down for 12 hours causing traffic gridlock because of the failure of a computer switch and a backup.

The article quotes Transurban (the toll road operator) Chief Executive, Scott Charlton, when asked about computer hacking as a cause, as saying:

“We have no evidence at this point in time.”

He also said:

“We don’t actually know at this point in time what caused the switch to fail and why the backup system didn’t come in.”

“I don’t have any more details on what caused the incident.”

and

“We do have network engineers on site 24/7 now to ensure that if anything were to develop we could handle the situation immediately.”

I guess immediately is 12 hours.

To be the CEO and have no answers about the cause of an incident (from troubleshooting) much less information about the root causes must be embarrassing to say the least. In addition, the lost revenue will cost the company around $1.2 million Australian Dollars. So this failure was both embarrassing and costly.

The Transurban Chairman of the Board, Lindsay Maxsted:

“We’re confident that the root-cause analysis currently in train will guide the operations team to ensure a similar event is unlikely to ever occur again.”

Let’s hope so for the drivers in Melbourne.

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