Bug Accidentally Shut Down Military Open Source Software Portal

Pavel Ignatov/Shutterstock

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Problems with a backup system are preventing Pentagon from recovering Forge.mil.

A software bug inadvertently has knocked out the military's system for developing open source software, according to the Defense Department. 

A data center supporting Forge.mil executed computer instructions that accidentally "corrupted all Forge.mil systems," Defense Information Systems Agency officials said in a notice released early Monday.

The DISA Defense Enterprise Computing Center in Montgomery, Alabama, is the facility where the trouble arose, agency officials said.

After an employee executed the “automated script” Sunday, problems with a backup system prevented Defense from bringing the portal back online Monday, officials said. 

“We believe little or no data will be lost as a result,” a DISA spokeswoman told Nextgov.

On Tuesday, the system was being restored from a full backup performed a few hours before the incident, she said.

No data was exposed and no malicious or unauthorized activity was involved, the spokeswoman said, adding the issue was caused by “an anomaly” in an authorized update.

It is expected services will be restored Tuesday by midnight Central Time.

"DISA is working to bring Forge.mil back up in the most expeditious manner possible,” DISA Chief Technology Officer David Mihelcic told Nextgov. “As is DISA standard practice, we will conduct an after action review and will use that information to improve our organization, systems, and processes. This outage is not characteristic of Forge.mil, which normally has a 99.9 percent operational rate."

The site, similar to open-source code repository SourceForge.com, lets military personnel worldwide securely access and tweak code in a single location for various agency projects.

Currently, all Forge.mil tools are down, including SoftwareForge, ProjectForge, and Forge.mil Community.

(Image via Pavel Ignatov/Shutterstock.com)