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CIA Gives the Soviets Gas (1982)

Cost:  Millions of dollars, significant damage to Soviet economy

Disaster:  Control software went haywire and produced intense pressure in the Trans-Siberian gas pipeline, resulting in the largest man-made non-nuclear explosion in Earth’s history.

Cause:  CIA operatives allegedly planted a bug in a Canadian computer system purchased by the Soviets to control their gas pipelines.  The purchase was part of a strategic Soviet plan to steal or covertly obtain sensitive U.S. technology.  When the CIA discovered the purchase, they sabotaged the software so that it would pass Soviet inspection but fail in operation.  (more)

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