Trading on the New York Stock Exchange halted today due to an alleged technical glitch which led to rampant speculation of a cyber-attack. Despite a statement from NYSE saying that there was no malicious attack, cyber-security stocks have since grown after trading recommenced.
According to Bloomberg, stocks in companies like Palo Alto Networks and AVG Technologies have surged. CyberArk Software, which specifically designs software to protect against malicious cyber-attacks, has risen, as too has Imperva, which counts the financial industry and government clients among its customer base. FireEye and Fortinet were also among the beneficiaries, according to Wall Street Journal.
The threat of cyber-attack appears to be at the front of investors’ minds in the wake countless cyber-attacks and breaches over the last couple of years, and today’s mere rumor that hackers targeted the NYSE was enough to get investors thinking about security again.
This may end up looking like good news for other cybersecurity companies, as just earlier this week, Boston security firm Rapid7 announced its intentions to raise $111 million in its forthcoming IPO.
Trading resumed earlier this afternoon, and the NYSE has assured investors and the public that there was no cyber-attack. However, the details of the “internal technical issue” remain unclear.
“The issue we are experiencing is an internal technical issue and is not the result of a cyber breach. We chose to suspend trading on NYSE to avoid problems arising from our technical issue. NYSE-listed securities continue to trade unaffected on other market centers,” it said on its Facebook page. Nevertheless there were reports of “chaos” on the trading floor today.
Speaking with Bloomberg, one trader said that he believes it was an issue with an upgrade being put in place to handle excessive traffic.