Amazon Web Services Outage Wreaks Havoc on Websites, IoT Devices


Salesforce, Citrix and Nest among those affected.

A massive Amazon Web Services outage of its S3 cloud storage service on Feb. 28 sent many major websites offline and also affected IoT devices such as the Nest Thermostat and Amazon Echo.

Website testing firm Apica said 54 out of the top 100 internet retailers were affected with a performance decrease of 20 percent or more. Some websites, including Lululemon and One Kings Lane went down completely.

Websites that were lucky enough to stay up suffered through tremendously slow load times. Among those websites affected include the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Citrix, Bitcoin, Salesforce, Github, Medium, and Adobe’s cloud. Apica said many major online retailers suffered massive reductions in load speed:

  • Disney Store – 1165% slower
  • Target – 991% slower
  • Nike – 642% slower
  • Nordstrom – 592% slower
  • Victoria Secret – 353% slower

Amazon itself wasn’t affected, but ironically, sites such as DownDectector and DownRightNow, which monitor sites and report outages, were down themselves. Countless more sites suffered missing images due to their cloud storage being inaccessible.

“For S3, we believe we understand root cause and are working hard at repairing. Future updates across all services will be on dashboard,” Amazon said via Twitter. They have not yet elaborated on what exactly the cause was.

The IoT wasn’t immune either. Amazon Echo owners found themselves unable to access Amazon Music, and Nest reported via Twitter that their security cameras and thermostats were not functioning properly due to the outage. Many users took to Twitter to report their smart lights, security cameras, thermostats and other IoT devices had completely stopped working.

Amazon reported Feb. 28 that the outage had been resolved and all services were back up and working normally.


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Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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