Associate Professor Tom Holt speaks about NYSE and United Airlines shutdowns

Photo of Thomas HoltAssociate Professor Tom Holt spoke with WXYZ-TV about the technological problems that forced a temporary shutdown of the New York Stock Exchange and the grounding of numerous United Airlines flights on June 8, stating it was quite likely a coincidence that both happened on the same day.

Both entities use very complex programming, says Holt. “It could be an error in code. It could have been an error with hardware. So it is a possibility that it is just a very strange coincidence.” Holt said that glitches like this “demonstrate that there are significant problems that can emerge from a small error … vulnerabilities that emerge after the fact that people aren’t prepared for.”

The NYSE believes the issue arose from an internal technical issue, and United Airlines cited a problem with network connectivity. While investigators will conduct forensic analysis of the computer systems, at this point it is not believed that a malicious cyber breach caused the series of outages.