NZX Traders Kept on Sidelines after Major DDoS Attack

NZX, the only registered securities exchange in New Zealand, experienced a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack early this afternoon, which managed to briefly take it down.

Stock exchange operator said that the attack was a malicious attempt from overseas to disrupt normal traffic of the exchange’s server with a flood of Internet traffic. NZX saw a spike in traffic this Tuesday at 15.57 and the number of connections attempting to reach its cash markets was enough to temporarily disrupt its activity.

A joint statement from the bourse and network provider Spark said the problem was resolved within an hour, and connectivity has now been restored. It also reassured the users that they will be able to use the platform normally on Wednesday’s session.

Spark’s technical support team spotted the attack and reacted ‘quickly’ to resolve the issue, said the spokesperson.

“Yesterday afternoon NZX experienced a volumetric DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack from offshore via its network service provider, which impacted NZX network connectivity. The systems impacted included NZX websites and the Markets Announcement Platform. As such, NZX decided to halt trading in its cash markets at approximately 15.57. A DDoS attack aims to disrupt service by saturating a network with significant volumes of internet traffic. The attack was able to be mitigated and connectivity has now been restored for NZX,” the company further states.

Despite the ongoing development in stock exchanges’ technical infrastructure and engineering staff, the latest incident reminds traders that access to even major platforms may become degraded or unavailable during times of significant volatility or cyber-attacks.

AS NZX benchmark was a few points away from the all-time high, glitches that kept clients from trading on historic market moves are becoming widespread and common.

In the retail space, Robinhood investment app experienced many system-wide outages this year and clients had difficulties accessing their accounts due to higher-than-usual trading volumes.

Two trading platform also failed at JPMorgan Chase & Co in April when the financial markets were in chaos. The US bank described an outage that rendered its wealth-management clients unable to trade during a massive stock sell-off. But issues cropped up again with its institutional stock-trading platform, which also experienced a ‘system-wide outage’ during the same day.

(Photo: wikimedia commons)

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