Tech blackouts plague major companies, delay local travelers

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - Tech problems plagued the New York Stock Exchange, the Wall Street Journal and United Airlines on Wednesday. The United issue temporarily stranded some passengers at Harrisburg International Airport.

Officials said the delays, grounding United planes all over the world, were out of their control.

"Anytime you travel, there are the potential for some type of delays whether it's weather, maintenance, congestion with the air traffic control system, it doesn't happen very often," says Scott Miller at HIA.

At about 11:30 AM, the New York Stock Exchange shut down trading because of an "internal technical issue" involving the computers.
Traders were able to use other markets but the outage lasted almost four hours.

"Unfortunately, the markets were down before the market shut down, there are some things going on overseas with the Greece situation and China and certainly some volatility," says local financial advisor James Igo of Morgan Stanley.

The Wall Street Journal's website went down around the same time as the exchange. The Department of Homeland Security looked into the problems at the NYSE, but officials say none of the outages appear to be connected, or malicious.

"It appears from what we know at this stage, that the malfunctions at United and the New York Stock Exchange were not the result of any nefarious actor," says Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security. "We know less about the Wall Street Journal, at this point."

Igo says the outage doesn't hurt trust in the NYSE, which must frequently update its huge computer system. But he says it may raise other questions.

"In this day and age, there's a credibility issue with just about every financial institution, as far as the cyber attacks and whether it be a bank account, a savings account or a brokerage account," says Igo. "But I do believe we have some of the best safeguards and best systems in the world, as far as that is concerned."