Amazon websites outage was due to hardware failure

LONDON Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:08am EST

Related Topics

LONDON (Reuters) - Inc's websites in Europe suffered an outage for more than half an hour on Sunday night, in what the company said was a hardware failure in its European data center network.

"The brief interruption to our European retail sites earlier today was due to hardware failure in our European datacenter network and not the result of a DDOS attempt," a spokeswoman for Amazon told Reuters.

Amazon was among the first U.S. firms to pull the plug on WikiLeaks since it began publishing thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, withdrawing hosting services last week after being questioned by the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee.

A loose grouping of activists operating under the name "Anonymous" had urged an online attack to crash the site by overwhelming it with requests from users.,, and were all down for more than 30 minutes until around 2145 GMT when they appeared to work normally again.'s U.S. website was unaffected.

Amazon, which operates one of the world's biggest web-hosting businesses as well as a huge e-retail store, had no immediate comment.

The activists briefly brought down the sites of credit-card giants MasterCard and Visa which had stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks.

On Saturday, Anonymous said it had changed its strategy and would now focus on spreading snippets of the leaked cables far and wide rather than on cyber attacks.

(Reporting by Michel Rose, Georgina Prodhan and Alexandria Sage; Editing by Jon Hemming)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (4)
jabberwolf wrote:
The DDoS attacks are so weak the onlt strong thing about them is the fake propaganda helped on by the media to give them attention.

Any security expert will tell you that the attacks are small, a slight disturbance, and can only work if you catch a website admin off guard.

But as you can tell on the news, they edit security expert opinions to only create a fake sense of alarm.

Its a small group of kids with generic downloadable software that are NOT hackers. They are just a small amount of white noise that are only annoyance. They should change their names from Anonymous to Annyoying.

Dec 13, 2010 12:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
kordo wrote:
Recently, during last month, several European (but perhaps also US) providers have experienced “hardware” failures.
In Poland, Estonia the major phone+internet providers have had major malfunctions because of “hardware” failures.
However, we know from Stuxnet that the possibility of creating hardware failures with the help of software (virus) is possible.

Dec 13, 2010 6:14am EST  --  Report as abuse wrote:
Doesn’t make sense. Concurrent hardware failure across all European domains?

Dec 13, 2010 10:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.