Questions over reason for Amazon UK outage

13th Dec 2010 | 09:22

Questions over reason for Amazon UK outage

Hardware failure or Anonymous attack?

Amazon UK is blaming a weekend outage on hardware failure its European data center network.

Many Brits were unable to do their online pre-Xmas shopping on Amazon.co.uk this weekend due to the outage, with some suggesting the website had been attacked by 'Anonymous' as part of a strategic response to Amazon refusing to host Wikileaks in the US recently.

Amazon goes down

"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.

The 4chan activists (or 'hacktivists' as some are referring to them) operating under the name 'Anonymous' had quickly called for an online attack on Amazon following the retailer pulling the plug on Wikileaks' US hosting.

Amazon.co.uk, amazon.de, amazon.fr and amazon.es were all down for more than 30 minutes until around 2145 GMT on Sunday 12 December. Amazon.com's US website was not affected by the outage.

Anonymous has now claimed that it plans to focus on distributing Wikileaks' leaked cables rather than taking down websites.

Shop till you drop

Amazon announced that all its servers are now back up and running

"While it is indeed possible that Anonymous may not have been able to take Amazon.com down in a DDoS attack, this is not the only reason the attack never occurred," read a statement which appeared to be sent from Anonymous.

"After the attack was so advertised in the media, we felt that it would affect people such as consumers in a negative way and make them feel threatened by Anonymous.

"Simply put, attacking a major online retailer when people are buying presents for their loved ones would be in bad taste."

For its part, WikiLeaks has said of the Anonymous attacks: "we neither condemn nor applaud these attacks".

Via BBC News

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