Amazon hosting issues knock websites offline

Foursquare, Quora, Reddit and other popular websites were sluggish or knocked offline on Thursday because of problems with their Web host Amazon.

"Our usually amazing datacenter hosts, Amazon EC2, are having a few hiccups this morning, which affected us and a bunch of other services that use them," check-in site Foursquare said in a status message. "Thanks for your patience."

Popular content sharing-site Reddit said it was in "read-only mode" because of problems at Amazon.

Quora, a user-generated question-and-answer site, said it was working to get back online following an "unexpected outage" and a similar site, Formspring, said it was also affected by the Amazon outage.

Amazon is best known as an online retailer but the Seattle, Washington-based company is also a major provider of cloud-computing services, renting out space on its powerful servers to customers around the world.

Global technology companies are investing billions of dollars in cloud computing, which involves hosting information on the Web and providing it to customers on demand.

Others websites experiencing sluggish service or downtime because of the problems at Amazon were online brand management service Hootsuite and the website of Foreign Policy magazine.

Another Amazon-hosted website unavailable on Thursday was that of US-based online activist network Change.org, which said Wednesday that hackers based in China have disrupted an online petition signed by nearly 100,000 people which urges Beijing to free outspoken artist Ai Weiwei.

Change.org said its website has gone down intermittently since Monday due to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks originating in China.

In a typical DDoS attack, a large number of computers are commanded to simultaneously visit a website, overwhelming its servers, slowing service or knocking it offline completely.

Change.org said Thursday that there was nothing to suggest that the problems facing Amazon and the cyber attacks on its website were linked.

The status dashboard for Amazon Web Services on Thursday showed the company was having issues with its operations based in northern Virginia and blamed it on an unspecified "networking event."

"We are working as quickly as possible to add capacity," Amazon said in an update around noon (1600 GMT), about seven hours after the problems began.

About two hours later, Amazon said "a number of people have asked us for an ETA on when we'll be fully recovered."

"Our high-level ballpark right now is that the ETA is a few hours," Amazon said.

With its website down, Foreign Policy took to Twitter and added a dose of humor.

In a series of tweets with the hashtag "articles we would be printing if our website worked," the magazine suggested: "Think Again: Could Computing."

Amazon's hosting services were last in the news late last year after the company booted WikiLeaks off its servers, saying the website which leaked tens of thousands of US military documents and diplomatic cables had violated its terms of service.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Solution Architect - Contract

    £500 - £600 per day: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Solution Architect is requir...

    SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

    £22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C#

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity for a Software...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - PHP

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you love PHP and working wit...

    Day In a Page

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
    What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

    What exactly does 'one' mean?

    Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue
    E L James's book Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

    Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

    It's hard to understand why so many are buying it – but then best-selling was ever an inexact science, says DJ Taylor
    Behind the scenes of the world's most experimental science labs

    World's most experimental science labs

    The photographer Daniel Stier has spent four years gaining access to some of the world's most curious scientific experiments
    It's the stroke of champions - so why is the single-handed backhand on the way out?

    Single-handed backhand: on the way out?

    If today's young guns wish to elevate themselves to the heights of Sampras, Graf and Federer, it's time to fire up the most thrilling shot in tennis
    HMS Saracen: Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled

    HMS Saracen

    Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'

    7/7 bombings 10 years on

    Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'