Coincidence is a strange thing these days. Today, three incidents occurred that may or may not be related but certainly introduce the question: Is this a coincidence? Coincidence or not, we live in a computerized, connected world and this just highlights how vulnerable society is when bad things happen to software.
According to reports, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) suspended trading today at 11:32am ET due to a “technology glitch”. Investors can still perform trades, just not on the NYSE. At the time of the market shutdown, the Dow was down about 1 percent, or 175 points.
The NYSE said in a statement, "We're currently experiencing a technical issue that we're working to resolve as quickly as possible. We will be providing further updates as soon as we can, and are doing our utmost to produce a swift resolution, communicate thoroughly and transparently, and ensure a timely and orderly market re-open."
Around the same time as the NYSE shutdown, the Wall Street Journal began experiencing technical issues. When attempting to access WSJ.com, the Wall Street Journal Homepage, resulted in the error message below.
The third incident from today was an apparent “automation glitch” that caused United Airlines to ground flights for an hour. The airline was forced to handwrite some tickets for travelers as they fixed the apparent glitch, and because of the downed reservation system, United was not able to confirm if any travelers were on the no-fly list, a report from the Record noted.
CNN quoted the Record, "Because of the safeguards and the backups built into the reservation system, once that goes down, everything has to stop.”
To avoid conspiracy theories and the unknown, all that can be deduced at this time is these three events occurred and whether they are related incidents is still unknown.
Stay tuned and check back here to for full coverage of this developing story.
UPDATE: After a nearly four hour stoppage, the NYSE resumed trading at 3:10pm ET. The New York Stock Exchange has confirmed the outage was due to what it is referring to as an “internal technical issue,” and “not the result of a cyber breach.” The Department of Homeland Security has confirmed this point, telling CNN there is “no sign of malicious activity.”
The International Business Times has reported the Wall Street Journal outage was due to slow server activity in processing HTTP requests. The 504 error that visitors were receiving was a result, by 12:30pm the Journal’s homepage was back up and running in a modified state.
United Airlines blames its grounded flights on what it calls a “router malfunction.” At 8am this morning flights were grounded until 9:49am due to issues with its reservation system because of said “router malfunction.”
"An issue with a router degraded network connectivity for various applications, causing this morning's operational disruption," United said. "We fixed the router issue, which is enabling us to restore normal functions."