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DDoS attack strikes UltraDNS, affects Amazon, Wal-Mart

A flood of traffic caused general sluggishness and some outages an hour late Wednesday.

A distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack targeted several major retail Websites late Wednesday, crippling parts of the sites for about an hour during the last minute holiday shopping rush.

People trying to shop on Amazon, Wal-Mart and Gap, as well as users of and popular travel site Expedia experienced general sluggishness and outages as a result of the flood of traffic directed at UltraDNS, a registrar service that resolves the high profile website addresses.

Wednesday night, officials at Neustar Inc.'s UltraDNS said outages had the most impact on the West Coast.

In a message on Twitter, Jeff Barr of Amazon Web Services said the outages were limited and affected mainly Northern California. The attack also briefly affected Amazon's S3 and EC2 services as well. All of Amazon's web services were functioning normally Thursday morning.

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