Saturday, December 26, 2009

Last-minute Amazon, Wal-Mart shoppers delayed by DDoS attack

The DNS provider for Amazon, Wal-Mart, and others went down on Wednesday evening thanks to a DDoS attack, giving a big "bah humbug!" to shoppers trying to make last-minute Christmas purchases.

Last updated December 24, 2009 10:26 AMText Size Print this articleLeave a commentIf you were one of the many Internet users trying to beat the clock with holiday shopping on Wednesday, a DNS attack may have tried to spoil your plans. Users found themselves unable to access several major websites, including and, during part of the day yesterday, which Amazon's DNS provider reported was a result of a DDoS attack.

The DNS attack started late in the day on Wednesday and took place against UltraDNS, the company that provides DNS services to the aforementioned sites. UltraDNS' parent company, Neustar, said that the attack affected the company's facilities in San Jose and Palo Alto, and the effects were largely limited to California users trying to access those sites. The company confirmed that an "abnormal spike in queries" took place and that it was identified as a DDoS attack.

The outage affected other parts of Amazon's Web Services in the US, but apparently not overseas. This, according to a retweet from Amazon Web "Strategist" Jeff Bar, included S3 and EC2. Luckily for Amazon and other e-commerce sites, they were only down for about an hour, but some shoppers still found themselves out of luck as a result of the outage. arstechnica

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