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Datum objave: 30.09.2020

The emergency system collapsed in a second. IT expert: A bunch of incom petent people

TODAY, due to a huge breakdown of Hrvatski Telekom, the emergency services system completely collapsed at six o'clock.

The emergency system collapsed in a second. IT expert: A bunch of incompetent people

TODAY, due to a huge breakdown of Hrvatski Telekom, the emergency services system completely collapsed at six o'clock. 

For hours, people could not call the ambulance, the police, the fire brigade or the unique number of emergency services 112. It was only after hours of complete collapse of the emergency services system that alternative numbers began to arrive from these services. Everything, understandably, caused quite a bit of chaos. 

Emergency numbers only worked around 4:15 p.m. Hrvatski Telekom said that the cause of the failure was the irregular behavior of the signaling system for voice calls due to a software error and that due to the complexity of the system and the specificity of the failure, which manifested itself in this form, the fault lasted 6 hours.

However, the situation, which is potentially very dangerous, revealed something else - that the entire system of emergency services in Croatia is dependent on Hrvatski Telekom.
Communication expert: Someone should have thought about this
Communication expert Marko Rakar told Index that such problems with technology are normal, but that someone in charge should have considered the possibility of this happening and prevented it. 

"Croatia is a small country. Objectively, the whole of Croatia is the size of one Munich or Berlin. In complex systems, and HT is definitely like that, it is possible for outages to occur. Yesterday Microsoft had an outage in Office 365 and was not available worldwide for hours .The technology when it screws, screws in the most spectacular way.There is no fine way to solve it, no matter the scale.HT did not work, but there are ways to distribute the burden of emergency services to at least two telecoms, there is a technical solution.It is in every in this case, a solution that someone should have thought about earlier, not today when it is too late. HT is responsible for this failure, but it is not to blame for the failure of the entire emergency system.

"The question is whether someone died because they didn't get health care in time because of this"
Rakar agrees with Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butkovic, who said that today's situation is a security problem, but he believes that the responsibility lies precisely with those who run the country. 

"It is true that it is a question of safety. It is a question of whether someone died because they did not receive health care on time. In five hours, an average of 25 people die in Croatia. Did ten die instead of five in one hour because someone is not on time received a medical service, is a question that should be asked to the authorities, "says Rakar.

He explains how these are the most normal phenomena for computer systems. 

"Computer systems that are spread over a thousand kilometers are prone to errors and outages, there is no special specificity. If a space shuttle can explode due to an error, so can a telephone line. But let's remember when was the last time and we'll see it's not quite so often.It's interesting that the internet worked flawlessly in this story, "he said. 

"Someone who did the communication structure made a mistake."
He says keeping the whole system on one operator is an indisputable mistake. 

"The problem remains that those users who are on HT or those who are on their infrastructure could not get emergency services, but if the system was distributed to several operators, at least part of the system would work and some people could reach "Someone who worked on the communication structure made a mistake. Some genius just didn't think of this possibility, and anything can happen, and natural disasters are always a possibility. Someone had to think about it," Rakar said. 
IT expert: This is a disaster
Computer expert Lucijan Carić speaks similarly. He tells Index that the problems of telecommunications operators are normal and that this is happening.

Like the sad performance of the head of the Office of Prime Minister Plenković last night in Otvoreno. It is simply about people who do not know the profession ", Carić is clear. 

He says such failures are well-known risks that should not surprise anyone, let alone the most important state system, the one for emergencies.

"This is a problem for which smaller companies have a solution, for the state this is a top scandal and shame
"These are all well-known things. Doubling operators also have smaller companies. They solved this problem because they know that if something goes wrong, they would lose money and then prevent it. For the state, this is a top scandal and shame shows a sad situation. tragic incompetence ", said Carić.

It also explains how this can be avoided.

"When it matters, when you rely on some services, you have to ask yourself what if your service fails, what the consequences are and what you will do. The fundamental question you ask yourself in such situations is whether you can afford it and, if you can't, what you will do to prevent it.Most often two lines are leased by two separate operators, you have a fail safe system and when one communication channel fails, and then you have another.You pay some money for it, but when a situation like this happens, then you are still operational. What is the logic of the state? There is none, they don't care. No one will be responsible for this. No one will resign, get fired, no one will make a mistake. The attitude of the state is: 'We don't care, we go to our clubs, carry our bags of commissions and that's it.' This system crash today is just one picture in a series of similar ones, "Caric said.

"Bread is more important than human lives"
He adds that this example clearly shows that the famous system of national security that is often talked about by the ruling party does not exist at all. It is ridiculous, he says, to talk about some kind of national security when, because even the most banal things are not taken into account, such a breakdown of the entire emergency services system can happen. 

it is not just a question of the communication system but whether help will really come to us. And this is not about doctors and technicians working hard, but about snobs. We had a situation in Zaprešić where a young man died because some cries were more important than human lives, and they still are, let's be clear, "Carić was indignant. 

"The government treats citizens like cattle, everyone is flattered, they know that nothing can happen to them."
Well, he concludes. 

"The government treats citizens like cattle, everyone is greedy, they know that nothing can happen to them, that no one will bear any consequences. In addition, in Croatia there is no way to understand that emergency and security services are not a place for hoarding relatives, nephews and mistress.I guarantee that every little-seen IT company, which needs it, has a solution for it.It is possible that some stores have it.But the state does not.These are the basics of operational technology, that if something happens, your system must continue "It cannot happen that these systems fail you," Caric concluded. 

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