If you’ve been doing some last minute Amazon holiday shopping on Wednesday evening, you’ve probably noticed that Amazon’s web site was sluggish and, at times, completely down. The same fate greeted Wal-Mart,Expedia, and a number of smaller sites. The reason? A severe DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service)attack on the servers of Neustar, the company that offers DNS services to many major companies under the name UltraDNS.
The attack that started at 4:45 p.m. PST lasted for about an hour, but it was quite severe, es
pecially because it also affected Amazon’s S3 and EC2 services (upon which many other web services rely), as tweeted by Amazon’s lead Web Evangelist, Jeff Barr. Currently, Amazon’s Service Health Dashboard shows that their services are working normally.
Luckily, Neustar managed to quickly mitigate the attack and contain it to the area of Northern California. According to Allen Goldberg, vice president of corporate communications for Neustar, the company reacted to the attack within minutes. The source of the attack is currently unknown.