Tags: Etrade | website | Fed | cybersecurity

E*Trade Website Goes Down as Fed Comments Spur US Volume Surge

Wednesday, 08 Jan 2014 04:10 PM

Some E*Trade Financial Corp. customers were briefly unable to access their brokerage accounts today, locking them out of the market as comments from the Federal Reserve spurred a surge in trading.

The New York-based brokerage announced the disruption via Twitter at 1:07 p.m. New York time, saying “We know you may be having difficulty accessing etrade. We are working to quickly restore full access and apologize for the inconvenience.”

The malfunction began before the 2 p.m. New York time release of minutes from the last meeting of Fed officials, which drove down Treasurys and gold and prompted an increase in U.S. equity trading. E*Trade said on Twitter at 2:55 p.m. that it “fully restored” access to its website.

E*Trade didn’t explain the cause of the problem. The financial industry has experienced a wave of computer attacks. One of its biggest competitors, Charles Schwab Corp., was targeted by a cyberattack in April that disrupted access to its service. The world’s biggest exchange operators recently formed a committee to foster collaboration on building defenses.

Computer security is the greatest threat to markets, Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. said in August, a month after a study co-authored by the World Federation of Exchanges found that 53 percent of exchanges were attacked in the prior year.

Shares of E*Trade rose 0.3 percent to $20.75 as of 3:11 p.m. New York time.

Another U.S. brokerage, Scottrade Inc., also broke down today. At 10:46 a.m., the St. Louis-based company’s Twitter account said: “We’re currently experience issues w/the Scottrade client website.” Customers were directed to an alternative site. The account said 16 minutes later the issue had been resolved. Mary Beck, a Scottrade spokeswoman, didn’t immediately provide a reason for the disruption.

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Some E*Trade Financial Corp. customers were briefly unable to access their brokerage accounts today, locking them out of the market as comments from the Federal Reserve spurred a surge in trading.
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2014-10-08
Wednesday, 08 Jan 2014 04:10 PM
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