London Stock Exchange Delays Rollout of New Trading Platform After "Suspicious" Activity

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the new London Stock Exchange (LSE) trading platform, Turquoise, that had achieved a world record trading time of 126 microseconds in tests. The new platform is intended to replace the LSE's Tradelect system.

Yesterday morning at 0823 London time, however, Turquoise suffered a problem that required it to be shut down until 1030. According to a statement by the LSE, the shutdown was due to "human error [that] may have occurred in suspicious circumstances."

The London Guardian put it a bit more plainly: possible sabotage by parties unknown.

The police have now been called in to investigate. This is now the third "glitch" the LSE has had in trying to roll out its new platform.

The LSE went on to say in its statement that:

"In light of this incident, coupled with necessary network upgrades to address ultra low latency and high flow inherent in the new platform, the Group has regrettably been forced to postpone its Main Market LSE technology migration for SETS [Stock Exchange Electronic Trading Service]. Given that December is an agreed change freeze period, the London Stock Exchange Group will work in partnership with customers to agree a date as early and practicably as possible in 2011 to reschedule the Main Market migration."

This is developing into an interesting story that I will continue to follow in the weeks and months ahead.


Risk Factor

IEEE Spectrum's risk analysis blog, featuring daily news, updates and analysis on computing and IT projects, software and systems failures, successes and innovations, security threats, and more.

Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City