Below is the official statement released by Xerox.  Evidently a rogue algorithm took over during a normal and planned test of the back up system.  This is something done routinelyimage all the time with companies relative to their data bases and servers and some algorithm was activated to cause the shut down.  Algorithms have a lot of power.  

You can read here about the services Xerox provides to the government from their website.

“For data center management, disaster recovery, network management services or help desk operations, our high-volume solutions support IT both statewide and worldwide. We’ve helped cities and counties with limited budgets optimize their technology budgets.”

In addition they have a long list of Healthcare services they provide here.   It looks like they have their hands into several areas of healthcare electronic services. 

I am guessing this portion of their work probably falls under their “outsourced IT management or services that was affected today.  The good news is that the server was rebooted and service has been restored to many areas if not all areas as of this writing.  This is a good time to take another look at a TED video by Christopher Steiner…here’s the original link and video below…yes when you say sure you can record my call, it’s not a tape recorder starting, you are unleashing a few thousand algorithms to analyze your voice, your needs, you state of mind and so on…good stuff.  BD 

Algorithms Are Taking Over the World…Automate This (Video)

NORWALK, Conn., Oct 12, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- During a routine test of our back-up systems Saturday morning, Xerox's Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system experienced a temporary shutdown. While the system is now up and running, beneficiaries in the 17 affected states continue to experience connectivity issues to access their benefits. This disruption impacts EBT beneficiaries who rely on the system for SNAP and WIC. Technical staff is addressing the issue and expect the system to be restored soon. Beneficiaries requiring access to their benefits can work with their local retailers who can activate an emergency voucher system where available. We appreciate our clients' patience while we work through this outage as quickly as possible.


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