Short answer: It could’ve been.
Amazon claimed that their service’s recent outage was due to unexpected storage mirroring and a network error… which are both things that can be caused by either a DDOS attack and/or web worms that generate a lot of server load and store big chunks of data on the EC2 Block Storage. Constantly, these days, governments all around the world are carrying out cyber attack exercises to both demonstrate and test their capabilities… and to get private data (’cause interesting cough-ups can happen over a network error). I’m not saying this was the case… I am saying it’s not ridiculous to suppose it could have been the case. The thing about the internet and these kinds of things: we’ll never know, simply due to the inherent structure of the internet, safeguarding anonymity. Thanks, Berners-Lee.
Thursday, Amazon’s EC2 cloud service, which powers Foursquare, Quora, Reddit, and thousands of other sites, snapped and all of the sites were rendered useless. Millions of people spent days without access to their geo-social data, Jon Stewart’s favorite news services, and the Silicon Valley geeklords’ Q&A experiment.
I guess it was a good time to go outside and get some fresh air. One of our apps lost one of its venue-finding services powered by Foursquare’s API (but the app’s relatively knew, so it only affected the first 100 users… thanks, Amazon). A friend of mine’s service also went down, and he wasn’t too happy about that, but frankly understood the risks of cloud computing and was accepting. #outagesHappen