Amazon downtime due to ‘hardware fault,’ not DDoS attacks

13 Dec 2010

Amazon’s half an hour downtime over the weekend, which was believed to be due to DDoS attacks from Anonymous, was actually a result of hardware failure. Anonymous may also stop the DDoS attacks.

According to the Guardian, on Sunday night, Amazon’s UK, Italian, German and Spanish sites were down for a half an hour, but it was “due to hardware failure” in their European data centre as opposed to a DDoS attack.

After the downtime, the sites returned and were back to normal. Its US site was unaffected.

The loose group of hacktivists called Anonymous had been undertaking DDoS attacks on sites who refused to offer their services to whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. Amazon was one, and it was believed it would be targeted next.

Change of tactics

However, a statement which was apparently from Anonymous was released, noting it would not target Amazon due to the negative impact attacking retail sites would have on consumers and would make them feel threatened by the hacktivists.

A blog entry that appears to be from the group noted a change in tactics called ‘Operation Leakspin.’ Instead of conducting DDoS attacks, they will now search through WikiLeaks, find the best leaks and post summaries or make YouTube videos in order to make the information more readily available.

Of course, due to the loose nature of Anonymous, it’s difficult to ascertain whether this is a fully fledged strategy change or a suggestion from certain participants which the rest will either choose to take up or ignore.

We should see over the course of this week whether DDoS attacks will diminish and more information is posted online from WikiLeaks by them.