Cat causes VA system outage

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A four-hour system outage at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, was reportedly caused by a cat jumping on a technician’s keyboard and deleting a server cluster configuration file.

The story was first reported by The Register, which said that it had heard the anecdote from a source who participated in a regular weekday call held by the VA with its CIO to review recent IT problems. The source said that roughly 100 people, including contractors, vendors, and employees, participate in these calls at a time.

According to The Register, one of the participants on a mid-September call explained that while a technician was reviewing the configuration of a server cluster, their cat jumped on the keyboard and deleted it. The source said that the technician claimed that their cat was responsible for the outage, but it is unclear if this was actually the case.

The VA’s statement said that the outage was caused by an “inadvertent deletion of server profiles” and that the system was restored within four hours.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheRegister.

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