updated 10/11/2011 2:19:56 PM ET 2011-10-11T18:19:56

The "Invade Wall Street" attack on the New York Stock Exchange's (NYSE) website may or may not have happened yesterday (Oct. 10), and it may or may not have just been a prank to dupe the news media. It all depends to whom you're listening.

Two Internet monitoring companies noticed brief but drastic slowdowns in the ability of the NYSE site to load yesterday afternoon, according to IDG News Service and CNNMoney.

But then later yesterday, a video posted to " TheAnonMessage " YouTube channel stated that the entire plan to hit the NYSE site had been a "scare tactic" meant to dupe the "gullible" media.

"We did measure the [NYSE] site from 10 U.S. cities and all our measurements went south at 2:30 p.m. [Pacific time]" Daniel C. Berkowitz of Keynote Systems in San Mateo, Calif., told IDG. "For all intents and purposes, it was unavailable/unusable by visitors."

Keynote also saw an earlier severe spike at about 12:30 Pacific time, or 3:30 Eastern time, which was when last week's video promised the attack would begin.

A different company, AlertSite, told CNNMoney that there had been "a definite increase in response times from 3:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET."

But a spokesman for the NYSE insisted there had been no impact.

"We detected no service outage on our corporate website at that time," Rich Adamonis told CNNMoney.

Surprisingly, the shadowy people behind the threat agreed. Yesterday's new YouTube video, which was posted on the same YouTube channel that carried last week's call to arms, explained the entire "operation" as a tactical fake-out.

"Even though we said the operation was fake countless times, the media still went with it being true," the robotic voice on the video's audio track said. "Once the media and government get used to the messages we give out being fake, they will let their guard down. And once this happens we will strike, mercilessly."

So you've got both the perpetrators and the intended victim denying anything happened. And yet the monitoring companies saw what they saw.

But even if a DDoS had managed to knock the NYSE website offline, it would have had no effect on the stock exchange's daily business. The website is basically informational and is not part of the trading networks.

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