European divisions of the world’s largest e-tailer Amazon suffered down time over the weekend following threats from hacktivists angered by the firm’s refusal to host Wikileaks documents.
Sites across Europe went offline during the busy Christmas shopping period including the British, French and German web sites. The outage occurred a little after 9PM London-time on Sunday and lasted just over half an hour.
Amazon had been subject to denial of service attacks from hacktivists but organising group Anonymous had said that the group did not so far have the “forces” required to tackle the retailers formidable distributed hosting cloud and there’s no evidence to suggest that the group was responsible for the down time.
However popular technology site Gizmodo and other sites hosted by owner Gawker Media had been shut down after hackers managed to gain access to the firm’s user database. “We're deeply embarrassed by this breach,” the company said on a post on Gawker.com.
“Our user databases appear to have been compromised. The passwords were encrypted. But simple ones may be vulnerable to a brute-force attack,” said the post. “You should change your Gawker password and on any other sites on which you've used the same passwords.”
There’s no indication the hack had anything to do with Wikileaks activists.