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London Stock Exchange investigates IT 'sabotage'

'Suspicious' 2-hour outage probed

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The London Stock Exchange is investigating a suspected sabotage after a trading platform was crippled for two hours.

The outage hit the Turquoise system yesterday.

"Investigations... have revealed that human error was to blame for the disruption that began at 0823am this morning," the LSE said in a statement.

"Preliminary investigations indicate that this human error may have occurred in suspicious circumstances.

"[We] take this matter very seriously and a full internal investigation has now begun. The relevant authorities have been informed."

The suspected sabotage has prompted the LSE to postpone the planned migration of its Main Market to a new ultra low latency platform built by MillenniumIT, a Sri Lankan firm it bought last year. Turqoise was migrated to the new network over the weekend.

"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," the statement continued.

The LSE also acquired Turquoise late last year, after it ran in to financial trouble. It had originally been set up to challenge the LSE's dominance of City trading.

Other, stronger rivals have put the LSE under pressure in recent years. ®

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