IB TWS security token asked after disconnection

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by travis, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. travis


    In some cases (rarely but it is definitely a problem) I start my automated trading and, a few hours later, within the same session (within those 24 hours that do not have the forced disconnection), presumably after a disconnection, I get asked again for the login code from the IB security code card authentication.

    What happens is I connect to my server, and see the popup window asking for the security codes, and since my trading is automated, this also means that the DDE data feed to excel has stopped (sometimes for hours) and my daily automated trading session has been compromised.

    This has been happening for the past two months, at the frequency of once every two weeks, so it has happened already four times. Does anyone (from IB or forum users) know what I could do to fix this problem, which is not just my problem presumably? This is a very recent problem and before this, disconnections did not cause it, and IB TWS could get reconnected without the need for me to fill in the security codes again.
  2. TD80


    I would suggest posting what build of TWS you are running and which locale you are operating in (US/Europe/Asia?). That may speed up the discussion.
  3. Catoosa


    I can not answer to your question but I think I am having the exact same problem. I have been getting the same disconnection and popup box asking for my security code almost every day. TWS will continue indefinitely to give me another login popup box. This disconnection is not due to the TWS reset after midnight or the TWS automated log-off once a day. This has been happening for about the last two months. I am in the USA and using TWS build 923.6.
  4. travis


    Yes, good question (TD80). I am (the server is) in the US as well, and I cannot tell you the build right now (I am at the office, with a firewall), but I've updated it a couple of months ago, which reminds me that I'll have to do an update of the build to the latest version as soon as I restart TWS tonight.

    Also, I could not agree more with Catoosa: everything that he says applies to me, except the frequency of the problem. I've had it for the past two months, but once every two weeks. And this morning, but it's not always the case, it did happen after their server restart (at midnight CT).
  5. This is definitely a known issue for automated trading and IB. Not much you can do about it but babysit the connection with Tws. I have tried to raise this issue directly with IB but it has gone nowhere and no one even can explain why the regular disconnects even at midnight are still necessary. My guess is that they have always done it this way and just continue to do so even though technically it should not be necessary.

    Outside of the midnight issue, disconnects causing the security token login are infrequent for me but are still a real obstacle to true unattended automated trading systems. Even IB's Gateway has the exact same behavior which I thought was supposed to better enable unattended trading but apparently not.
  6. JamesL


    If you are "comfortable" with going this route, you can create a second login with limited functionality (i.e. Trading only or administrative, etc) that does not require the passcode token and use that for your automated stuff. If your setup is secure enough, it might be an alternative to look at.
  7. travis


    Great, brocklanders. That was the final answer we all needed: it is a common problem, and it is not due to the country you're connecting from, nor the TWS build.

    And, if you really want reliable automated trading, you should opt out but IB says:
    So basically an automated trader is kind of screwed. Not all the time, but in my case once every two weeks. And I want to stress out that this never happened until two months ago, and yet I've been using the security code card for the past few years.

    Here's something more from another link:
    This is terrible, and no one will be comfortable with opting out, not even with a secondary account, as JamesL suggests.
  8. There is even a worse issue here that hasn't even been mentioned. I have had times where TWS has popped up the security token login and is in what is commonly referred to as the "Pink" screen where all of the grid lines are bright pink. During this period it is still possible to have orders sent and executed by TWS through the API but for some unknown reason TWS does not report back that the order was ever filled.

    I have had the nightmare scenario where my trading software received a signal, sent the order to TWS, it was filled but TWS never reported back a fill to the software and no corresponding bracket order was sent either. So I have a filled position in the market with no stop or target and no fill detection reported due to TWS being in this in-between PINK state.

    These issues are not just obstacles to automated trading they are disasters waiting to happen! This is why I have ceased all night trading with IB until something more is done about these problems.
  9. travis


    It reminds me of google and microsoft. Everything kept getting better for years, and then, when they didn't know what else to improve, they started making things worse.

    I am saying this, because this problem (token prompt after disconnection) did not appear until recently (last two months or so) and as far as my automated trading is concerned (IB TWS with excel) everything ran smoothly for the last two years.

    It's really a pity that such a small problem (that did not exist until recently) has been causing so much trouble to IB customers, and no one seems to gain from this situation: neither IB nor its customers. If the problem did not exist before, things can be reversed to make it disappear.

    The only good part is that I am not the only one complaining. This is the advantage of being one of thousands of customers.
  10. travis


    I got a very detailed and satisfactory reply (probably I am not the first one asking this question) to my question asked via the message center of the online Account Management.

    They basically explained to me that the cause for the token prompt is either a poor connection or their daily maintenance of one hour for the servers update, ending at about midnight CT.

    Now, to this I would object that, once again, despite having the same connection for years and despite the servers update being in place for years, the problems have only been happening in the last two months, so something must have been changed in their software.

    But what satisfied me was this other part: there is an option for opting out of the security token for just trading platforms. Probably this was advised to me, because I am not the first one bringing up this problem. Then they recommend securing my platform connection by using "IP Restrictions" and "SSL" login.

    So, on the one hand I am satisfied, because this will definitely solve all the problems in the morning and during the day, and yet I will keep my account management safe, because the security token does not get disabled there.

    On the other hand, on the "Two-Factor Opt Out for Trading Applications" screen, I still have click that I agree and am aware that i will not be compensated in case someone messes with my trading platforms. But not with my account - the account is safe, or should be safe, despite the agreement I am being asked to click, because the token still works on the account management. So what are these hackers going to do with my trading platform? And they'd still have to get around the IP restrictions and SSL connection.

    I am thinking about it, and weighing the advantages and disadvantages. At least now my option is not as bad as disabling the security token for everything. I wish that agreement said that I still get compensated if someone gets into my account, but instead it doesn't specify it.

    So, due to this potential misunderstanding (I am keeping some security, but I am agreeing for a loss of all compensation, potentially, because it's unclear and not specified), I have decided that I still will not remove the security token for the trading applications either, hoping for these problems to disappear in the future, just as they did not happen until 2 months ago.

    Of course I'll now have to set my alarm earlier in the morning, in order to make sure that the daily maintenance and servers update did not log me out.
    #10     Feb 22, 2012