This was the question on everybody’s mouth last week, when technical problems caused the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to suspend trading for almost four hours. What’s more, problems with computer network were also noticed by United Airlines and the “Wall Street Journal”.
As reported by CNNMoney, trading at NYSE was halted around at 11:32 a.m. (5:32 p.m. Polish time). As it is second biggest stock exchange in the world (in terms of turnover), no wonder that investors were anxiously watching the situation till the business was resumed around 3:10 p.m. (9.10 p.m. Polish time).
Initially, there wasn’t much explanation, therefore moments later, questions arose whether this failure is the result of cyberattack. Stock-exchange authorities quickly denied these rumors, stating that the situation was related to internal technical issue with new software, introduced a day earlier.
It has also been reported that problems occurred even before the stock exchange opened on Wednesday, but they’ve been removed – or so it seemed at that time.
Another failure happened to the website of “Wall Street Journal” and just hours before that to United Airlines, when 3.5 thousand flights has been abruptly canceled throughout the United States. Employees were manually writing out tickets to passengers, since the system has ceased to print them. In addition, some computers shut down and others lost connection to the Internet. The problem was solved within less than two hours.
The Department of Homeland Security stated that there was “no sign of malicious activity”.
The above-mentioned cases were simply a result of computer system failure, not security breaches. However, details about what exactly went wrong are still emerging.
What links the cases together?
Well, even though the problems aren’t similar in nature, each of these institutions rely on massive computer systems, where people perform hundreds of complex operations a day.
It also proved that it doesn’t take much to cause a world-wide agitation.