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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Amazon's European websites - all of which are hosted in Dublin - went offline for 30 minutes last night, due to an internal technical fault.

Amazon says site downtime not caused by ‘hacktivist’ group

The online retailer – which went down for 30 minutes last night – says its disruption was the cause of a technical fault.

AMAZON HAS INSISTED that the downtime to some of its European websites last night was as a result of a “hardware failure” and not as a result of an internet hacker attack.

Most of Amazon’s major European sites – including its British, German, French, Italian and Austrian websites, all of which are hosted in Dublin – went offline for 30 minutes at about 9:15pm last night.

But although many suspected the site could have been targeted by the ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous – in a ‘revenge’ attack after Amazon withdrew its web hosting services to WikiLeaks last week – the site itself says the downtime was merely the result of internal technical issues.

“The brief interruption to our European retail sites last night was due to hardware failure in our European datacentre network and not the result of a DDoS [distributed denial of service] attempt,” an Amazon spokesperson told Reuters.

Anonymous also said, via Twitter, it was not behind any downtime, having changed the nature of its campaigns over the weekend to focus on spreading the content of WikiLeaks’ documents as much as possible.

“WE REPEAT: We can not attack,” the group wrote. “To some journalists: check your sources well please.”

The group’s ‘Operation: Payback’ movement had seen the websites of Paypal, Mastercard and Visa all attacked and taken offline, but Anonymous said it had declined to attack Amazon’s websites because ”attacking a major online retailer when people are buying presents for their loved ones, would be in bad taste.

“While it is indeed possible that Anonymous may not have been able to take down in a DDoS attack, this is not the only reason the attack never occurred,” the group said.

“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.”

The US-based website was unaffected by the issue.