NYSE, United Airlines, WSJ contemporary down, cyber attacks or incidents?

Trading was halted for more than two hours on the NYSE floor, contemporary United Airlines system and the Wall Street Journal suffered a temporary outage.

The scenario could appear apocalyptic, yesterday trading was halted for more than two hours on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) floor and at the same time  United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal newspaper suffered a temporary outage. Trading at the NYSE stopped around 11:30 a.m. ET though NYSE.

Stock Exchange, Transportation, Media belong are critical infrastructure of a country, a contemporary failure of these systems could cause serious problems to the nation, especially when the incident is caused by a cyber attack.


White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed that the incidents weren’t caused by cyber attacks, anyway President Obama had briefed on the glitch at NYSE by White House counterterrorism and homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and chief of staff Denis McDonough.

“It appears from what we know at this stage that the malfunctions at United and at the stock exchange were not the result of any nefarious actor.” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. “We know less about the Wall Street Journal at this point except that their system is back up again as is the United Airline system.”

The Intercontinental Exchange, the organization that owns the NYSE, shortly after the outage informed the public by tweeting from  the NYSE account that the incident was caused by an internal glitch.

“The issue we are experiencing is an internal technical issue and is not the result of a cyber breach,” the exchange tweeted. “We chose to suspend trading on NYSE to avoid problems arising from our technical issue.”

(1 of 3) The issue we are experiencing is an internal technical issue and is not the result of a cyber breach.

— NYSE (@NYSE) 8 Luglio 2015

At the same time the online edition of The Wall Street Journal was offline, a 504 error message displayed on the homepage not bode good.

“I think the Wall Street Journal piece is connected to people flooding their web site in response to the New York Exchange to find out what’s going on.” FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence committee. “In my business we don’t love coincidences, but it does appear that there is not a cyber-intrusion involved.”

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., the top Democrat on the cyber-security subcommittee, told Fox News that the NYSE incident has “the appearance” of a cyberattack and noted the coordination of multiple sites.

Thus far the temporary outage at the New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal’s website were the results of tech glitches, but we have to consider the US infrastructure remains vulnerable to cyber attacks that would cause serious problems and would be costly.

Pierluigi Paganini

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