The Wrath of Amazon: JEDI wars rage on after US Department of Defense affirms Microsoft contract

AWS claims 'blatant political interference'

AWS has come out with guns blazing after the US Department of Defense's (DoD) reaffirmed Microsoft's JEDI contract win on Friday, with the cloud vendor alleging the award was a “flawed, biased, and politically corrupted decision,” that had been directly and improperly influenced by US President Donald Trump.

The contentious $10bn Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud Procurement was awarded to Microsoft in October 2019, but has been disputed by both Oracle and Amazon Web Services.

Last week the DoD completed its "comprehensive re-evaluation of the JEDI cloud proposals" and stated that "Microsoft's proposal continues to represent the best value to the government."

In its broadside later that day, in the form of blistering blogpost, AWS insisted it had offered a deal with a cost lower by “tens of millions of dollars.” The DoD has not published any detail on the reasoning behind its re-evaluation.


Makes sense, this does, says US appeals court as it swats away Oracle's protests in $10bn JEDI contract spat


While fellow JEDI bidder Oracle’s protest may have run out of steam thanks to an appeal court ruling last week, AWS filed its own, separate vendor bias complaint back in November 2019. A series of preliminary injunctions won by the cloud giant - culminating in a stay it was granted in August [PDF]) - mean that there will be no movement on the project until least 17 September (next Thursday).

In a nutshell, AWS's complaint alleged that Microsoft's proposal around a type of online storage offered in "Price Scenario 6", was not technically compliant with the DoD's stated requirements, and should have therefore been pulled out of the running.

The US Court of Federal Claims granted the injunction, which forbids the Department of Defense from proceeding with implementation activities until “further order of the court”, on the basis that parts of the legal challenge were likely to succeed – but also required AWS to put up $42m security in case costs are awarded against it.

A very public dispute...

Why is AWS pursuing this with such vigour? The contract has a high value but it is not just about money. AWS's response showed its indignation that another vendor should be preferred so publicly over its own cloud, with its insistence that “AWS is the clear leader in cloud computing, and by any objective measure, has superior technology.”

The other side of this coin is that AWS would not have won its injunction if its complaint did not have some merit, not on the question of who runs the best public cloud, but rather on points of detail like whether Microsoft’s solution meets the DoD’s stated requirements for “online and replicated storage.”

The new statement – and the fact that the stay on AWS's court case will expire next week – means that we should learn more soon. This one is not over yet. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Meet Wizard Spider, the multimillion-dollar gang behind Conti, Ryuk malware
    Russia-linked crime-as-a-service crew is rich, professional – and investing in R&D

    Analysis Wizard Spider, the Russia-linked crew behind high-profile malware Conti, Ryuk and Trickbot, has grown over the past five years into a multimillion-dollar organization that has built a corporate-like operating model, a year-long study has found.

    In a technical report this week, the folks at Prodaft, which has been tracking the cybercrime gang since 2021, outlined its own findings on Wizard Spider, supplemented by info that leaked about the Conti operation in February after the crooks publicly sided with Russia during the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

    What Prodaft found was a gang sitting on assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars funneled from multiple sophisticated malware variants. Wizard Spider, we're told, runs as a business with a complex network of subgroups and teams that target specific types of software, and has associations with other well-known miscreants, including those behind REvil and Qbot (also known as Qakbot or Pinkslipbot).

    Continue reading
  • Supreme Court urged to halt 'unconstitutional' Texas content-no-moderation law
    Everyone's entitled to a viewpoint but what's your viewpoint on what exactly is and isn't a viewpoint?

    A coalition of advocacy groups on Tuesday asked the US Supreme Court to block Texas' social media law HB 20 after the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week lifted a preliminary injunction that had kept it from taking effect.

    The Lone Star State law, which forbids large social media platforms from moderating content that's "lawful-but-awful," as advocacy group the Center for Democracy and Technology puts it, was approved last September by Governor Greg Abbott (R). It was immediately challenged in court and the judge hearing the case imposed a preliminary injunction, preventing the legislation from being enforced, on the basis that the trade groups opposing it – NetChoice and CCIA – were likely to prevail.

    But that injunction was lifted on appeal. That case continues to be litigated, but thanks to the Fifth Circuit, HB 20 can be enforced even as its constitutionality remains in dispute, hence the coalition's application [PDF] this month to the Supreme Court.

    Continue reading
  • How these crooks backdoor online shops and siphon victims' credit card info
    FBI and co blow lid off latest PHP tampering scam

    The FBI and its friends have warned businesses of crooks scraping people's credit-card details from tampered payment pages on compromised websites.

    It's an age-old problem: someone breaks into your online store and alters the code so that as your customers enter their info, copies of their data is siphoned to fraudsters to exploit. The Feds this week have detailed one such effort that reared its head lately.

    As early as September 2020, we're told, miscreants compromised at least one American company's vulnerable website from three IP addresses: 80[.]249.207.19, 80[.]82.64.211 and 80[.]249.206.197. The intruders modified the web script TempOrders.php in an attempt to inject malicious code into the checkout.php page.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022