Amazon Nearly Broke the Internet Today (No Big Deal)
Categories: Tech

Amazon Nearly Broke the Internet Today (No Big Deal)

Earlier this year (circa October), panic swept the interwebs when popular sites such as Spotify, Twitter, Pinterest, and yes, even our beloved Netflix, fell like dominoes thanks to something called a DDoS — distributed denial of service — attack.

These types of attacks work when a group of hackers essentially overload a system with fake traffic signals until the targeted network cannot handle any normal, valid traffic it might otherwise receive. In the case of this fall’s attack, it was internet services firm Dyn (the provider for a rather lengthy list of clients, including the aforementioned biggies) that took the hit.

Now, another big name, Amazon Web Services, has been hit with an attack of its own. Providing “cloud-computing service” to sites like Slack, Trello, and Quora (all of which saw major outages), users found themselves suddenly experiencing difficulties with vital tasks such as file uploads (among other issues). Even Apple — which has reportedly previously copped to using S3 — saw some problems, with users reporting errors with its app store and music streaming services.

The mess was apparently the result of “high error rates” on Amazon’s part that began occurring just after 1pm/12c. Both panic and hilarity ensued over on Twitter, with users alternately freaking out and commiserating.

The problem appeared to be with Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3). Though it claims to have “99.9999999 percent durability” and controls 31 percent of the current cloud-share marketplace, S3 seemed to be down in Amazon’s largest cloud hub of Northern Virginia, and was still being worked on around 3pm EST.

By about 5pm EST, Amazon resolved the issue. (Whew!) The company has yet to comment on whether or not the attack was the work of a hack job, but given the Dyn disaster (which was later found to be the work of a Mirai botnet — a malware product used to, well, break things), we’re not ruling it out.

Were you affected by today’s shortages? Share with us @BritandCo.

(h/t Gizmodo, photos via Leon Neal/AFP + David McNew/Getty)