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Amazon.de victim of possible hacker attack

The Local · 13 Dec 2010, 10:52

Published: 13 Dec 2010 10:52 GMT+01:00

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Along with several other western European countries, Germany’s Amazon.de could not be accessed for an extended period of time – a serious blow during the busy Christmas shopping period.

It was not certain that hackers caused the crash and Amazon blamed the problem on a hardware fault. However, Amazon is thought to be a target for so-called “hacktivist” supporters of the whistle-blower internet platform.

Wikileaks also could not be accessed in France, Britain and Spain.

Amazon had previously banned Wikileaks from its servers. Critics have suggested they did so under pressure from the US government, though Amazon denied this, saying that Wikileaks breached the internet firm’s conditions of use.

On Thursday, supporters of Wikileaks attempted en masse to paralyze Amazon, though they were particularly focused on the US site.

An Amazon spokesman told the news agency Reuters on Monday that the problem had been the result of a “hardware failure” and nothing to do with hackers.

Over the past two weeks, Wikileaks has been gradually releasing hundreds of thousands of confidential cables between US embassies around the world and the State Department in Washington, many of which contained embarrassingly blunt US assessments of foreign leaders.

Story continues below…

Wikileaks front man Julian Assange, an Australian national, is being investigated by Swedish authorities on alleged sexual assault charges.

DAPD/The Local/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:29 December 13, 2010 by Simon_Kellett
Having over 20 years of professional computing behind me it is my opinion that Amazon are not telling the full truth (!). For a global web-based business to be brought down by a "hardware failure" is inconceivable. They will have mountains of servers spread around the world, and I would expect that the German site could be served by any of them, and would not even limited to German based data centres.

Sounds far more like a DDOS attack to me.
13:40 December 13, 2010 by dcgi
Yeah of course it was a DDOS, but it would have had to have been a huge one, Amazon have a huge infrastructure.

One thing the article leave ambiguous is what the attack was, be clear that this attack was to "deny service" to customers, to make the website unavailable, it's pretty clear no personal/card information was stolen.
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