Updated. Amazon.com’s main website appeared to be down for many visitors for a 45-minute-long period today, with the site returning a mostly blank page that reads “Http/1.1 Service Unavailable.”
Here is a screenshot of what some visitors saw when visiting Amazon.com:
A look at a cURL of the site at the time of the outage showed that Amazon’s homepage is returning a 503 Error, which indicates that the server powering the site is temporarily down due to maintenance or overloading. Internal links were still working, but at what seemed like a slower pace. Meanwhile, AWS, Amazon’s cloud hosting service for other websites, is up and running just fine.
503 Errors can be the result of a denial-of-service attack, although it’s impossible to say right now whether that is the case here.
We’ve reached out to Amazon and will update this with anything we hear.
Update: The last 503 Error we pulled up on the Amazon.com homepage was at about 12:25pm PT, some 45 minutes after the first user reports of the outage began. At the moment, however (12:30pm PT) the site appears to be back up, and this article has been amended to reflect that. We are still waiting for word from Amazon on what happened.
Update #2: Amazon has confirmed the 49 minute outage to TechCrunch.