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Another Amazon outage takes down Slack, Epic Games and more

Amazon Web Service's logo on a wall
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Web Services suffered another widespread outage today (Dec. 22), in the third such instance this month.

"We are investigating increased EC2 launch failures and networking connectivity issues for some instances in a single Availability Zone (USE1-AZ4) in the US-EAST-1 Region," read a post on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Service Health Dashboard at 7:35 a.m. Eastern time. "Other Availability Zones within the US-EAST-1 Region are not affected by this issue."

The problem was blamed on "a loss of power within a single data center." Power was said to be restored by 8:39 a.m. Eastern time, and affected services "should be starting to see recovery." A 9:51 a.m. update said that "the majority of AWS services have also recovered."

Online companies reporting service problems included Slack and Epic Games, while Down Detector showed users reporting trouble with Grindr, Hulu, McDonald's and DoorDash, among others, although it wasn't clear whether all those issues were caused by an AWS outage.

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Some of those impacted services appeared to be recovering by 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, according to Down Detector. However, Slack reported 5 minutes later that "issues with file uploads are ongoing," and then at 10:06 a.m. Eastern thanked its users "for sticking with us as we continue to work towards a fix."

According to Statista, AWS comprises 32% of the entire worldwide cloud-infrastructure market.

AWS had similar issues on Dec. 7, when one of its servers in the eastern U.S. went down, and again on Dec. 15, when the problem was traced to a West Coast server. Today's snafu, as indicated above, seems to lie with another Eastern-region server.

The problems seemed to have been more wide-ranging in the previous two AWS outages, affecting Disney Plus, Netflix, Sony's PlayStation Network and Amazon's own Prime Video, Alexa, Ring Video Doorbell services and even delivery-driver navigation. 

However, a Reddit thread indicated that some of those services were affected this time as well.

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Paul Wagenseil is a senior editor at Tom's Guide focused on security and privacy. He has also been a dishwasher, fry cook, long-haul driver, code monkey and video editor. He's been rooting around in the information-security space for more than 15 years at FoxNews.com, SecurityNewsDaily, TechNewsDaily and Tom's Guide, has presented talks at the ShmooCon, DerbyCon and BSides Las Vegas hacker conferences, shown up in random TV news spots and even moderated a panel discussion at the CEDIA home-technology conference. You can follow his rants on Twitter at @snd_wagenseil.