Folks looking to browse or buy on Amazon.com’s site are getting a blank page.


Amazon.com’s web page is down and there is no explanation as to what is going on. Pinging the site for the last 15 minutes yielded an “Http/1.1 Service Unavailable” message on an otherwise white screen.. The mobile app appeared to work fine and if users know which subsite they want, say books or video , they can get there by plugging in the appropriate URL.

We have calls into the e-commerce giant and will update this story when we hear back. Gizmodo was first to report on this at 11:25 p.m. PDT. As of 12:05 p.m. PDT, there were no indications of problems with Amazon Web Services on the AWS status page.

Update: As of 12:34 p.m. PDT, the main Amazon.com page was accessible again.

Since the subsites appear to have worked all along, the inactive main page could be due to a DNS configuration issue, or as some have claimed on Twitter, a DDOS (distributed denial of servie) attack on the site, as reported by  BetaBeat.

While there have been quite a few instances of Amazon Web Services glitches over the past year, for the main site of the online store to disappear is quite a big deal, as evidenced by user reaction rippling through Twitter (which had its own issues today) and other outlets.

Amazon has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Update: At 2:06 p.m. PDT  An Amazon spokesperson issued this comment via email: “The gateway page of Amazon.com was offline to some customers for approximately 49 minutes.  Other pages of the site were accessible and AWS was not impacted.”

This story was updated several times during the day.

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  1. down for a long time now.

  2. I thought it was just me – been fiddling with my computer thinking I had goofed up the settings. Hell – what’s up with Amazon?

  3. seems like order history is gone for now…

    main webpage is dead…http://www.amazon.com
    but the rest is kind of working…

  4. Leila Kincaid Hayes Thursday, January 31, 2013

    I tried to make a purchase through Amazon.com at 12:05, and then again at 12:20 pm PST through Amazon.com but got the error message: Http/1.1 Service Unavailable

    Were they hacked?
    I’m afraid of all the people who store their credit card information on Amazon’s site.

    They really should be using secure server technology.

    1. A site being down does not mean it has been “hacked”. A site being “hacked” does not mean credit card data has been compromised. That’s quite a leap to go from “unavailable” to recommending that AMZN use “secure server technology”. And by “quite a leap” I mean irrelevant and not helpful to the discussion at hand.

    2. “They really should be using secure server technology.”

      I’m certain they are. And because Amazon’s web page was down doesn’t necessarily mean any secret information was stolen.

  5. Back up for me.

  6. thanks for the comments. main page is back up and it looks like the sub-pages (books, video etc) were up all along. Still waiting for comment from amzn.

  7. This isn’t news worthy…who cares if a site goes down for a bit…slow news day?

    1. sorry alex, can’t agree with you there given the # of people who visit that site in any given hour and this time were greeted with an error message. Most don’t know the URLs for the underlying subsites. My guess is this costs amazon a lot in lost sales and i’m not alone in that.

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