John McAfee: New York Stock Exchange was knocked offline by hackers linked to Anonymous

At 11.32am (EDT) on 8 July, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) computers went down, causing a four-hour suspension of transactions. In a four-hour period the NYSE averages about $400m (£259m) in trades – a substantial daily loss.

The NYSE and Homeland Security both quickly announced the problem was not due to a cyberattack.

At around the same time that the NYSE went down, the Wall Street Journal’s website went offline, as did that of popular financial blog Zero Hedge. United Airlines also experienced a “network connectivity issue” which impacted almost 5,000 flights worldwide.

Given the criticality of technology to United Airlines, let’s assume for a moment it has a daily reliability rate of 99.9%, meaning it has a system failure once every 1,000 days – which equates to once every three years. Now, let’s assume the NYSE and the Wall Street Journal also have a daily reliability rate of 99.9%.

If these events were truly random and independent, then the frequency of all three of these events happening on the same day is once in a billion days (or if you prefer to count in years, almost 2.8 million years).

Read on…

  • Brett_McS

    That probability calculation is pseudo-math, as these systems are being attacked all the time.

  • Clausewitz

    We’re almost at the tipping point where the whole system is going to crash. One high orbit nuke blast would wipe out the entire electronic infra structure for North American and this Buffoon Obama is giving the Iranians the bomb.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Here is the odd thing about “odds”, if you look deep enough, simple random occurrence will generate astronomical odds of almost everyday events.
    I’m not saying this WASN’T bad actors, but Anonymous can be anyone that wants to CALL THEMSELVES “Anonymous”. Also Anonymous has been attributed to a lot of computer hacking that they did not do, they are almost a catch-all.

    The NYSE was explained away by a bad software upgrade. If that is true, then what are the odds of United and The WSJ (or any two major entities) have an outage at the same time. That could be a lot less than astronomical.

    I’ll wait for the forensic evidence, because at this point, it could be anything.

    • Xavier

      Yup. Feynman did some great lectures on probability and the seemingly impossible odds of everyday occurrences. It can be difficult at times to not become a conspiracy theorist but let’s all resist the temptation until more facts are available.

    • mauser 98

      Anonymous could be the FBI

      • Exile1981

        Because anonymous is a cell structure and loose affiliation it could be that 99% of the time it is some loan hacker or small group and no one else in anonymous would know.

        I still think the NYSE pulled its own plug to halt the trading on chinese stock that was pulling the market down.

        • mauser 98

          we are not being told the truth for sure

  • AlanUK

    This is a good example of how mistakes can be made right at the start.
    Based on their numbers, the odds of the 3 events all occurring on the same day is 1 in a million. NOT 1 in a billion.

  • Spreorke

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  • Hard Little Machine

    Some dude in Bangalore is saying he didn’t do it.