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[] NYSE Trading Halt Triggered by 'Network Storm'

NYSE Trading Halt Triggered by 'Network Storm' 

Primary and backup network routers overwhelmed by duplicated error message.

By Steven Marlin,  InformationWeek 
June 2, 2005 


An error message that was duplicated millions of times overwhelmed network
routers at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, leading to a four-minute
halt in trading just before the closing bell. 

Trading resumed normally at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. 

In a statement, the NYSE blamed the system failure, which suspended trading
at 3:56 p.m., on a communication problem. In an interview Thursday with
cable-news channel CNBC, NYSE CEO John Thain said the problem was caused by
a "network storm" in which "an error message was created and then duplicated
millions of times," overwhelming both the system's primary and backup
network routers. 

The last major trading interruption at the NYSE occurred on June 8, 2001,
when trading was stopped for about 90 minutes due to a "computer
connectivity" problem, a NYSE spokesman says. 

In 2003, the Securities Industry Automation Corp., which provides the NYSE's
trading infrastructure, implemented Secure Financial Transaction
Infrastructure, which was intended to improve the resilience of the
financial industry's data communications capabilities. A letter posted on
SIAC's Web site dated Nov. 24, 2003, says "SFTI possesses no single point of
failure and is more resistant to man-made and natural disasters." The NYSE
spokesman declined to comment. 

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