- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 2, 2017

The wide-scale Amazon Web Services outage that made navigating the internet a mess Tuesday reportedly affected more than 150,000 websites, but Amazon wasn’t one of them.

An Amazon employee was attempting to fix an issue with the company’s billing system Tuesday when they incorrectly entered a command that accidentally sidelined a set of servers used by its immensely popular AWS S3 cloud computing service, the company explained afterwards.

The hiccup ultimately resulted in an hourslong outage that caused complications for individuals attempting to visit certain websites powered by Amazon’s cloud, the likes of which is relied upon by over 150,000 websites across more than 123,000 domains.

Online-monitoring company Apica said that 54 of the top 100 online retailers suffered significant disruptions due to the glitch, including the Disney Store, Target, Nike, Nordstrom and Victoria Secret. Three other big retailers — Express, Lululemon and One Kings Lane — were knocked offline entirely, Business Insider reported.

Amazon itself, however, hardly flinched. Amazon.com, the company’s hallmark e-commerce site, was largely unaffected, according to Amazon, despite relying on AWS for a chunk of its hosting needs. The nation’s top online retailer is powered by various Amazon servers located in vastly different geographic regions around the world, enabling the website to remain accessible in the event of localized hiccups and outages.

American financial services lost upwards of $160 million as a result of the outage, and S&P 500 companies suffered about $150 million in losses, according to Cyence, a cyber risk modeling firm cited by Business Insider.

“We will do everything we can to learn from this event and use it to improve our availability even further,” Amazon said in a statement.


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