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Amazon Web Services Outage Wreaks Havoc on Internet

Sites and services from Slack to Quora have been affected by the tech issue impacting the cloud computing service

A huge number of online services are down after a major outage affecting Amazon Web Services, the unofficial backbone of most of the internet, occurred on Tuesday.

An outage involving one region of the tech behemoth’s S3 scalable cloud storage service has taken major sites, including Quora and widely-used apps like Slack, offline, putting a serious wrench in the workflow — or diversions — for millions of people across the country. Even isitdownrightnow.com is down right now.

Amazon’s massive and rapidly growing Web Services product (which reported $3.5 billion in fourth-quarter revenue) is used by small sites and internet giants alike to provide the storage capacity they need. Netflix relies on AWS to power its worldwide internet TV platform.

And if you’re wondering why some of your favorite websites seem to be text-heavy today, AWS is behind the image hosting capabilities of a multitude of outlets. The outage is also affecting Sailthru, a widely used email newsletter service, used by sites including TheWrap. Smart home-enabled devices are also on the fritz.

“We’re continuing to work to remediate the availability issues for Amazon S3 in US-EAST-1. AWS services and customer applications depending on S3 will continue to experience high error rates as we are actively working to remediate the errors in Amazon S3,” Amazon said on its AWS status page.