Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Amazon Homepage Down for Some Users, Hackers Claim Responsibility

(Screenshot: Amazon)

(Screenshot: Amazon)

Amazon.com’s homepage appears to be temporarily down, showing a “service unavailable” message to users. Links within Amazon are still functional, but the homepage is inaccessible.

As TechCrunch notes, the site is serving a 503 error, indicating that “the server powering the site is down due to maintenance or overloading,” which can mean the server is being DDOS’d. Amazon Web Services’ dashboard says all hosting services appear to be operating normally.

The hacker group Nazi Gods is claiming responsibility for the attack. “This is what happens amazon when you support censorshiphttp://amazon.com  #TangoFuckingDown,” tweeted @NaziGods this afternoon, adding, “I may release a pastebin later explaining how and why we took out amazon.”

In response to a user who asked if they DDOS’d Amazon, @NaziGods responded “we used a 7kbotnet running hoic 100 threads each. 80servers in botnet and a 16gbps booter.” That means 700,000 separate web request getters running are running at once. This method would send scores of requests over and over again to the server, causing it to overload and temporarily knock the site offline. The hackers claim only the homepage is down because it is hosted on a different server than the rest of the site.

Betabeat has been unable to independently verify if the site is down due to the work of hackers like NaziGods or due to something else entirely. We’ve reached out to Amazon and will update when we know more.

Update 3:33 pm EST

The Amazon.com homepage appears to be back up.

Update 5:36 pm EST

Amazon has provided Betabeat with the following statement:

 “The gateway page of Amazon.com was offline to some customers for approximately 49 minutes.  Other pages of the site were accessible and AWS was not impacted.”

This is a developing story and we will update as we learn more.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com