Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Hackers Bring Holiday Headaches to Amazon, Wal-Mart

GrinchBah, humbug! Hackers spent part of Wednesday attacking Neustar, the DNS provider that helps link some of the Web’s biggest Web sites to consumers, and ended up disrupting big retailers like Amazon (AMZN) and Wal-Mart (WMT) for more an hour.

In addition to the obvious pain this brings to last-minute Christmas shoppers and the e-commerce sites that rely on them, the attack had a larger effect: Many Web 2.0 companies that rely on Amazon’s cloud computing services to power their sites were also disrupted during the attack.

That said, the incident seems resolved now, and assuming we don’t see any catastrophes in the last few hours before Christmas, e-commerce companies are going to end up doing pretty well during this holiday season. ComScore (SCOR) estimates that sales are up four percent this year.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald