Amazon.com homepage is inexplicably down for us. When you navigate to Amazon.com we're getting a series of errors. Initially the page only read "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable," but we've been getting the failure page above, as well as straight-up browser fails. We've confirmed the problem on both the east and west coasts.
Update: Amazon is back. But why did it go down in the first place?
Despite the homepage downage, much of Amazon appears to be up and running. Direct links to product pages work but the home page has been loading the error above since about 2:30PM EST. Amazon Web Services are up and running, and Gawker Media's CTO reports that Amazon S3 cloud computing services are fully up as well. We've reached out to Amazon to see what's up and company reps are looking into the issue. We'll update as we learn more. Help us out, what are you all seeing out there in the world.
Update: Hacker group Nazi Gods has taken to Twitter to claim responsibility for the attack:
As in every internet situation since the dawn of time, it's worth taking the boast with a grain of salt; Amazon's a huge whale, and claiming credit for its TKO is a quick way to make a reputation for yourself whether you did it or not. That being said, Nazi Gods helpfully took the time to detail how they did it:
@anonymouspro_15 we used a 7kbotnet running hoic 100 threads each. 80servers in botnet and a 16gbps booter— NaziGods (@NaziGods) January 31, 2013
And also clarified why the homepage is down but not the rest of the site:
The home page is down because amazon host home page on server a and the rest on server b. simple— NaziGods (@NaziGods) January 31, 2013
Still, there's reason enough to doubt the claim. It's hard to imagine that Amazon puts its entire homepage—its most vital property—entirely on one server. It's also notable that Nazi Gods announced a lengthy lists of potential hacking targets eight hours ago:
Scroll to the company list and this is our target list techdirt.com/articles/20110…— NaziGods (@NaziGods) January 31, 2013
And that Amazon is nowhere on that list.
Update 2: It also turns out that this wouldn't be the first time Nazi Gods made dubious claims about its involvement in a successful attack. Just two weeks ago, Cyber War News mounted substantial evidence—including the testimony of a disenchanted Nazi Gods member—that the group had taken credit for bringing down cyberwarnews.info when it had not.
Update 3: And we're back! Amazon's home page has returned unscathed.
Update 4: Meanwhile, Nazi Gods have pointed to the time of the attack as evidence that it originated from a group with Nazi in its name. We're still waiting to hear from Amazon to confirm details of what exactly happened:
Ask amazon, if you doubt us. First attack log was at 19:45 uk time. 1945 is hitlers death year @gizmodo— NaziGods (@NaziGods) January 31, 2013
We've been in touch with whoever is on the other end of the NaziGods Twitter account that's claiming credit for taking down the Amazon.com home page and well as the Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 servers. We asked for definitive proof of the attack and the hackers couldn't provide it. The hacker provided some additional information about what motivations might drive NaziGods attacked the server and some proof that they actually did it—and that they could do more.
NaziGods elaborated the complaints about censorship. It seems the hacker had a personal problem with the Amazon.
So in short, NaziGods claims that they got themselves a copy of "Ghost in the Wires," a book by hacker Kevin Mitnick. Then when they tried to sell it Amazon wouldn't let them. That makes no sense to us. NaziGods agrees. "That's why we fired teh lazers."
As you can see in the clip above, we asked how and if NaziGods could take down "server b" and target a larger part of the Amazon operation. NaziGods claims it would be suceptible to a Slowloris DDoS attack which is much simpler than what took down the homepage. Interestingly, they say they wouldn't do it.
We're still in touch with NaziGods, we'll add more if they give us anything interesting. But in the meantime, NaziGods told us to expect more hacks on the way.
Here's the official comment from Amazon Spokesperson Ty Rogers:
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.
Not exactly confirmation that they were hacked. We're digging for more.
Sources close to Amazon have told us that the outage was not related to any outside group. We'll update if there's more to say, but it sounds like old NaziGods was full of it after all.