Sudden flashing warning symbols on 2 outputs

We have a 2011 Outback 3.6 and a 2012 Outback 2.5:
– On a vacation trip in 2019, 3 states from home, my 2011 on the interstate with the cruise control on suddenly got the check engine light and came on: brake light, cruise control, ABS lights.
I went another mile to a rest area. I had brakes, engine oil was good, with only about 37k miles on the car with scheduled service.
I remembered reading on some machines you could reboot/reboot the computer by unplugging the battery cable for half an hour, plug it back in and maybe ??? I did this, no warning lights came on the rest of the way home and haven’t since today.
So then:
– Last week my wife’s 2012 Outback with 132K miles cruise control NOT on but did the exact same thing. I disconnected the battery on it too: same result for a week, but today it did it again! She did the battery disconnect I taught her last week and came home without another warning episode. What is the cause and fix?

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