Amazon and Vodafone suffer weekend online woes
Those pesky kids of the internet were out in force again over the weekend, seemingly throwing their cyber-spanners in the works of top corporations who just want to get on with earning an honest living and don’t want no trouble from no one mister.
For a brief period last night, Amazon’s sites in the UK, Germany, France and Italy went down, amid speculation that the ‘Anonymous’ group of hackers had got into the sites’ workings and had a bit of a fiddle about. They have been recently targeting those who they believed were trying to obstruct the work of the Wikileaks truth-buglers.
Anonymous were behind similar attacks on Mastercard and Visa’s sites last weeks but withdrew a previous threat against Amazon, saying: “After the attack was so advertised in the media, we felt that it would affect people such as consumers in a negative way and make them feel threatened by Anonymous. Simply put, attacking a major online retailer when people are buying presents for their loved ones, would be in bad taste.” Overnight news reports have cited Amazon's woes as being down to 'hardware failure' rather than those meddlin' kids.
Elsewhere over the weekend, Vodafone shot themselves in the foot by allowing uncensored tweets to appear on their website as part of a publicity campaign called ’12 Days Of Smiles’. The idea was simple – anyone who tweeted the @VodafoneUK account and used the #makesmesmile hashtag would find their tweet appear, uncensored on the Vodafone website, with the best winning prizes.
Word soon spread throughout the online scamp community, and before long much dissent against Vodafone’s alleged dodging of a £6 billion UK tax bill was filling up their website. Some hawk-eyed internet user also spotted that one of the terms and conditions of the competition advised that any winner should: “Check to see if there's any tax implication by winning a prize as you'll be responsible for this.”
Alanis Morrissette, there's some irony there for one of your songs if you're reading.