Amazon Outage Due to Hardware, Not Hackers

By Cindy Waxer December 13, 2010

Amazon is reassuring visitors that it hasn’t become the latest casualty of pro-WikiLeaks supporters. Despite being offline for about half an hour in Britain, France, Germany and other countries, the Internet retailer says that hardware – not hacktivists – are behind the technical glitch.

"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.

Of course, Amazon would be a likely target for the hackers who have launched attacks on companies such as Visa, MasterCard and PayPal. In early December, Amazon opted to ensure its servers would be no longer available to host the WikiLeaks site, forcing the controversial organization to move back to a Swedish provider. The site was down for several hours and was dumped from Amazon’s servers in the wake of criticism from congressional staffers.

In late November, WikiLeaks published 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables, the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. The cables, which date from 1966 up until the end of February this year, contain confidential communications between 274 embassies in countries throughout the world and the State Department in Washington DC. 15,652 of the cables are classified Secret.

According to an Associated Press report last week, a British judge jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, “ordering the leader of secret-spilling website behind bars as his organization's finances came under increasing pressure.”

The report said that “Assange showed no reaction as Judge Howard Riddle denied him bail in an extradition case that could see him sent to Sweden to face allegations of rape, molestation and unlawful coercion.”

Prior to Assange’s hearing, Kristinn Hrafnsson, a spokesperson for Assange, told the Associated Press, “This will not change our operation.” WikiLeaks, in fact, released a cache of a dozen new diplomatic cables, its first publication in more than 24 hours, the AP said.




Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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