AWS Is the Internet's Biggest Single Point of Failure
On Monday, several services on the internet ground to a halt because of an outage at some Amazon Web Services cloud servers. The outage affected Netflix, Disney Plus, PUBG, League Of Legends, Ring security cameras, as well as Amazon products and delivery infrastructure.
People were not able to see pictures of their favorite McDonald’s coffee, nor use their Roomba vacuum cleaners. On Reddit, users reported they were not able to charge their electric vehicles. Even here at Motherboard, we were briefly unable to post new stories, or share them on social media because the outage impacted some of the tools we use.
The outage lasted just a few hours, but it showed the world just how much the internet depends on Amazon’s infrastructure.
Steven Bellovin, a computer science professor at Columbia University, said that one of the issues with the internet’s dependency on AWS is that there is now a single point of failure for thousands of websites.
“If an attacker can gain control of AWS infrastructure, they could do very great damage. It's likely that that's much harder than penetrating individual companies, because AWS is very, very good at running a secure shop, but of course it's not impossible,” Bellovin told Motherboard in an email.