Nasdaq OMX Group Inc (NASDAQ:NDAQ) has released details about the software bug that led to a halt in trading on the exchange on August 22. The exchange said that the trading outage was caused by “latent software flaws” in the Securities Information Processor, or SIP. The initial findings report shows that a confluence of events led to the closing of the exchange last week.
According to the report a number of the issues “were clearly within the control of NASDAQ OMX.” The company said that it intends to take all of the steps necessary in order to prevent the market from being halted by those problems again.
Full responsibility does not lie with Nasdaq
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc (NASDAQ:NDAQ) said that although the malfunction in the SIP was part of the problem, “Other issues contributing to the halt are more endemic to technology issues across today’s complex markets and will require a broader industry-wide effort to resolve.”
That admission gives grounds for regulators and government agencies to step in and take a closer look at the software infrastructure that runs today’s markets. Glitches causing outages on the market are not good for anyone, and they clearly demonstrate a weakness in market infrastructure in the United States.
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) said that it plans to identify “potential design changes to further strengthen the SIP’s resiliency, including architectural improvements, information security, disaster recovery plans and capacity parameters.” The company will provide a report to the SIP governing committee in the next 30 days.
Market halt took time to solve
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc (NASDAQ:NDAQ) said that it was able to identify and solve the particular problems in the software quickly, but it needed to test the software extensively in order to ensure reopening markets was a good decision. According to the release, “the problem was quickly identified and data feeds were operational within 30 minutes of the halt.”
The problem in the software arose from unprecedented volume of messaging traffic being sent to the SIP, ovewhelming built in redundancies in the system and “degraded the ability of the SIP system to process quotes to an extent that a shutdown of the system was in the broader public interest, to prevent information asymmetry and ensure fair conditions for all market participants.”