Attack of the Leap Second? Why Major Sites Vanished | NECN

Attack of the Leap Second? Why Major Sites Vanished

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which provides the Internet infrastructure for major sites like Instagram and Netflix, suffered a connectivity issue for nearly an hour Tuesday.



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    An employee walks over a logo on the floor of Inc.'s fulfillment centers in Rugeley, U.K., on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. Online retailers in the U.K. are anticipating their busiest day as shoppers flush with end-of-month pay-checks seek Christmas deals on the Web. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    UPDATE: The connectivity issue previously identified as a root cause for the outage was unrelated to the "leap second bug." The connectivity issue resulted from a provider outside the AWS network, and prevented some users from accessing the sites. At the same time, the "leap second bug" affected a smaller number of customers. Amazon Web Services was not down and the services did not suffer an outage.

    All issues with Amazon Web Services were resolved about 40 minutes after the issues emerged, the company said. "We have worked with this external Internet service provider to ensure that this does not reoccur."

    The original article has been updated to reflect the clarification from Amazon.

    Several major sites went down after the scheduled leap second on Tuesday evening, including Instagram, Pinterest, Netflix and

    Those sites all rely on Amazon Web Services for their Internet infrastructure. AWS, which powers several other major sites and social media platforms, suffered a connectivity issue between 8:25 p.m. to 9:07 p.m. ET (5:25 p.m. and 6:07 p.m. PT).

    "We experienced an Internet connectivity issue with a provider outside of our network," Amazon Web Services said in an announcement on its Service Health Dashboard. "The issue has been resolved and the service is operating normally."

    At the same time, a "leap second bug" also disrupted access for a small number of customers.

    "We have seen with these reported issues that this has been caused by a leap second bug within the instance operating system," the post on the AWS dashboard said.

    Call it the new Y2K bug — except this one actually did some damage.

    Several other sites were crippled around the same time, although it wasn't immediately clear what caused those outages. Apple's newly launched music streaming service, Beats 1, apparently suffered an outage for nearly 40 minutes, as did task management sites like Asana, Slack and SocialFlow.

    The leap second, as it's known, is a slight adjustment for the tiny inconsistencies in the length of a day.