Web Hosting News Updates: Syrian Electronic Army, Right to Be Forgotten Push and Amazon Cloud Outage

In this second half of November, the news stories that relate to web hosting and small online business owners came fast and furious. As people geared up for Black Friday shopping, many different website hosting companies released Black Friday deals, which Jerry Low gathered up and shared with our readers in one easy resource guide. You may want to quickly check this out as many of these discounts are still available and some apply to Cyber Monday.

Syrian Electronic Army Goes Back Into Battle

Have you heard of the Syrian Electronic Army? This “army” is a group of activist hackers that the Syrian government is aware of but turns a blind eye to, giving them the power to create chaos without interference. They use everything from spam to malware to phishing to target websites.

In the past, they’ve targeted websites they believe are hostile to the Syrian government or certain political views and causes. They’ve attached many sites in the Western world, such as the BBC news, Associated Press, The Washington Post and CBC News.

Most recently, they attacked over the American Thanksgiving holiday, targeting a number of news media sites. Sites they targeted includes The Guardian, CNBC and Daily News. Those visiting those sites during the attack saw a message that stated they’d been hacked by the SEA.

They also warned Skype followers on Twitter not to use Microsoft emails and there would be details soon.

Right to Be Forgotten Push

Europe’s push for the “right to be forgotten”, which is essentially the right to ask that links be removed that are not relevant or inadequate about you or your company, may impact website owners whose sites are targeted by an individual asking that the link be removed.

The EU has requested that right to be forgotten links be removed across the entire world wide web and not just on European domains with the extension .fr or .uk. Their complaint is that people can still access their links on Google’s .com.

It will be interesting to see how this debate plays out. In the United States, freedom of speech is a Constitutional right. However, according to Right to be Forgotten, if a person is mentioned on a website, they can request that the link be removed from Google search results.

Amazon Cloud Outage

A rare major outage of Amazon's cloud-based web service took down some very popular sites and web services, including SCVNGR, Reddit, HootSuite, Foursquare and Quora.

A rare major outage of Amazon’s cloud-based web service took down some very popular sites and web services, including SCVNGR, Reddit, HootSuite, Foursquare and Quora.

Business owners and individuals who rely on Amazon’s CloudFront DNS service experienced an outage the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Many website owners utilize the DNS storage service to speed up website loading times.

However, the outage caused a major slow down for a couple of hours for those same website owners. Luckily, Amazon got things back up and running rather quickly. Still the timing couldn’t have been worse as many shoppers visit websites during the Thanksgiving holiday break to hunt for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

These are just a few of the goings on around the web that impacted website owners and Internet users over the last week or so. We’ll have more news for you in December.