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Computer-Related Risks by Peter G. Neumann - SRI International

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Chapter 2. Reliability and Safety Problems

If anything can go wrong,it will (and at the worstpossible moment).

A VARIANT OF MURPHY’S LAW

ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CHALLENGES in the design of computer-related systems is to provide meaningful assurances that a given system will behave dependably, despite hardware malfunctions, operator mistakes, user mistakes, malicious misuse, and problems in the external environment—including lightning strikes and power outages that affect system performance, as well as circumstances outside the computer systems relating to processes being controlled or monitored, such as a nuclear meltdown.

With respect to reliability issues, a distinction is generally made among faults, errors, and failures in systems. Basically, ...

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