Menu
State Department computer crash slows visa, passport applications worldwide

State Department computer crash slows visa, passport applications worldwide

The problems followed routine maintenance work so hacking is not suspected

The U.S. State Department's main computer system for processing passport and visa applications crashed earlier this week leading to global delays for travel documents.

The problems first surfaced after "routine maintenance" on the consular database, said Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, during a televised briefing Thursday. Harf said the system has been brought back online, but it's still not back to full capacity.

"We are working urgently to correct the problem and expect our system to be fully operational soon," she said.

Because the problems occurred after maintenance work, Harf said the U.S. government doesn't believe the problems are the result of any malicious action, although she acknowledged the department hasn't identified the root cause of the problem.

"This is worldwide, it's not specific to any particular country," she said.

The State Department describes the consular database as "one of the largest Oracle-based data warehouses in the world."

"As of December 2009, it contains over 100 million visa cases and 75 million photographs, utilizing billions of rows of data, and has a current growth rate of approximately 35,000 visa cases every day," according to a document describing the database.

The database provides almost real-time access to all consular activity worldwide and related activity in the U.S.

"There is a backlog, we are working through it so we ask people to be patient," Harf said.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags IT managementhardware systemsConfiguration / maintenanceHigh performanceU.S. Department of State

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments