Amazon Web Services outage disrupts Internet

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon Web Services suffered a major outage on December 7.

A disruption to the popular Amazon Web Services (AWS) managed cloud platform wreaked havoc with parts of the Internet on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

The official AWS service health dashboard began reporting multiple incidents involving its managed cloud services in the Eastern U.S. at around 12:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 7. In addition to affecting the operations of many AWS corporate and public clients, as well as those of Amazon itself, the AWS outage also impacted Amazon’s ability to monitor and report service incidents.

At about 2:30 p.m. ET, Amazon reported that it had determined “impairment of several network devices” in the Eastern U.S. region was the root cause of the issue. At approximately 3:30 p.m. ET, Amazon said it was continuing to actively work toward mitigation with some signs of recovery, but had no firm estimated time for a full recovery. AWS services being impacted in the Eastern U.S. region included EC2, Connect, DynamoDB, Glue, Athena, Timestream, and Chime.

According to CNBC, impacts of the outage on Amazon have included the shutdown of the internal Seller Central website used by third-party Amazon Marketplace sellers, as well as the Amazon Flex and AtoZ apps used by contract de;ivery drivers to scan packages and view delivery routes.

A message reportedly sent to Amazon drivers instructed them to “go to a nearby safe location and stand by” if they could not safely continue their routes, and an Amazon employee told CNBC that a delivery facility in Washington state had stopped processing orders at 8 a.m. PT.

Among the external users reported to have been affected by the outage were the streaming services Disney+ and Netflix, the Slack messaging platform, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, and stock trading app Robinhood. The Associated Press further reported that both Delta and Southwest Airlines, as well as Toyota, McDonald’s, Instacart, and Venmo, were affected by the outage to at least some degree.

The Associated Press also reported that the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency was working with Amazon to determine any impacts on federal entities using AWS services.