Amazon EC2 outage happened because of the "leap second" bug, affected Netflix, Instagram and more

"Leap second" bug is what took down Amazon's servers and affected Instagram, Pinterest, and others.

@anthony256
Published Tue, Jul 3 2012 5:45 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:28 PM CST

Over the weekend you might have noticed that a few of your popular sites weren't working, such as Instagram, Netflix, and more. This is thanks to a huge storm which took down most of Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud. Clients that are on this cloud are Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.

Amazon EC2 outage happened because of the leap second bug, affected Netflix, Instagram and more | TweakTown.com

What caused the downtime? The "leap second" bug", which International time keepers adjusted, adding one second to the global time standards in order to offset differences between our ultra-precise atomic clocks and the natural rotation of our planet, a rotation which is ever so slightly irregular. Sometimes, such as back in 2008, there's a second that is added to adjust time as needed.

Amazon's servers weren't the only ones that were affected, Gawker (Lifehacker, Gizmodo and others), Reddit, Mozilla and many, many more fell prey to this leap second bug. During the update, some software can't handle the unexpected change in seconds, and the effects are, well, the events of the weekend.

NEWS SOURCE:techspot.com

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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