Amazon Denies Hackers Behind Outages Company's European sites taken offline for 30 minutes yesterday By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Dec 13, 2010 6:15 AM CST 5 comments Comments An Amazon.com team member scans book titles at a warehouse. (AP Photo/Scott Sady) (Newser) – Amazon says hardware problems, not attacks from pro-WikiLeaks hackers, caused its European sites to shut down on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The company's British, French, German, Austrian, and Italian sites were down for about half an hour last night, the BBC reports. The "hacktivist" group Anonymous had earlier threatened cyberattacks as payback for Amazon's decision to boot WikiLeaks from its servers. Anonymous itself says no attack occurred. The activists felt an attack on Amazon "would affect people such as consumers in a negative way and make them feel threatened by Anonymous," a statement from the group said. Some Anonymous members have suggested that the group switch strategy and start distributing as-yet-unpublicized cables from WikiLeaks, though that plan doesn't seem to have won much support and "Operation:Payback" itself appears to be running out of steam, Ars Technica notes.