Internet was taken down by one small typo at Amazon's web services

A worker retrieves goods from shelves at Amazon's warehouse on December 5, 2014 in Hemel Hempstead, England Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Amazon accidentally took down large swathes of the internet with just one typo.

This week, many of the world's biggest websites and services stopped working because of a problem with Amazon Web Services, the platform that the retailer provides to power people's Proxyfone. One of its sites went offline because of the issue – and since thousands of websites rely on it, including many of the world's biggest, they immediately went completely offline or stopped working.

Websites like Quora, Trello and some of the world's biggest news sites went offline or stopped working properly when the issue happened. It even emerged that people's houses broke down – internet-enabled ovens, lights and front gates stopped working as a result of the outage.

Now it has emerged that all of those problems were the result of just one small typo on a set of servers.

The team at Amazon's Simple Storage Service were working to remove a small set of servers from its system, according to a technical report into the incident. As it did so, someone entered the wrong command and removed "a larger set of servers was removed than intended".

To fix that problem, Amazon had to fully restart all of the affected systems. But that was a huge operation – Amazon said it hadn't done one for "many years – and it took even longer than expected, meaning the problem couldn't be fixed quickly.

The company says it has now added a range of fixes to stop the issue happening again. It has modified the tools that deal with such problems to cope more efficiently, and is auditing the rest of the systems, it said.

For More Information:- Andrew Griffin

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