Amazon Web Services Outage Causes a $150 Million Loss, All Due to a Typo


Amazon Inc. on Thursday last week, blamed human error for an outage at its cloud-services unit that caused widespread disruption to internet traffic across the world early last week.

Amazon said the outage started with a typo at Amazon’s northern Virginia data centers on Tuesday. An employee trying to speed up the company’s S3 cloud-storage billing system tried to take a few servers offline. The employee however mistyped the command, affecting more servers than intended, which led to a cascade of failures that ultimately knocked out S3 and other Amazon services.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the largest global seller of cloud infrastructure, has more than a million users. The hours-long outage disabled and slowed apps and websites from a wide section of U.S. companies, including Trello, IFTTT, Quora, Slack, Medium. Alexa, the virtual assistant was also affected and ironically, the website, which lists website that are currently offline, was also offline due to the outage.

The AWS outage cost companies in the S&P 500 index stock market, $150 million, according to Cyence Inc. – a startup that specializes in estimating cyberrisks. Amazon said it is adding safeguards to prevent server capacity from falling too quickly or below a minimum level.

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