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 Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments