Discover the shocking truth about the DDoS attack that took the popular fanfiction web site AO3 offline!

On August 8, 20,22, avid fans of fanfiction were forced to frantically refresh their screens when the popular fanfiction platform, AO3 – Archive of Our Own – suddenly disappeared. A Distributed Deny of Service (DDoS), or DDoS, attack was blamed for the sudden disappearance. This malicious act caused AO3 to be rendered inaccessible by an overwhelming amount of fake traffic.

The DDoS news spread rapidly across all social media platforms, sparking a furious response from fanfiction writers. Online spaces, usually reserved exclusively for fan-created content and discussions, were filled with frustration. The fans, used to spending hours immersed into their favorite fanfic worlds, felt a palpable vacuum. AO3 was more than a platform. It was a place where writers and readers could come together to share their creativity and passion. Fans eagerly awaited any updates from AO3 administrators as the outage continued. They hoped for a quick resolution and a return of the transformative fiction world that had become a part of their lives.

On July 10th, more than 4,000 AO3 US users reported problems accessing the site in the afternoon. The website has been experiencing outages since Monday. Then, on July 10th, AO3 tweeted the site was down. DDoS attack.

Popular fanfiction website, AO3, is under attack(Downdetector)
The popular fanfiction site, AO3, has been attacked (Downdetector).

What is a DDoS (Denial of Service) attack?

A ‘Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack’ is a malicious attempt to make the target server unavailable. Cybercrime where the perpetrator floods an internet server with traffic. The server is overloaded by the excessive, superfluous requests. This causes legitimate requests to fail. The server becomes unusable due to the overwhelming amount of requests.

Who are the attackers?

One tweet by AO3 revealed who the attackers are “a collective of religiously and politically motivated hackers” known as ‘Anonymous Sudan’. This hacktivist group is allegedly an Islamist terror gang. In another tweet, AO3 warned “cybersecurity experts believe the group claiming responsibility is lying about their affiliation and reasons for attacking websites.”
“View the group’s statements with skepticism.”

Security experts think that Anonymous Sudan is a Russian hacker gang trying to create trouble for Moscow’s adversaries in the West. Louise Ferrett, a researcher at cybersecurity vendor Searchlight, explained to Tech Monitor what. “The original Anonymous Sudan collective was first seen during the 2019 political instability period in Sudan.”

“This group was anti-Russia and active in local street protests as well,” She added.

The current group that is attacking AO3 “appears to be aligned with Russia” The group is pretending to be the Sudanese Islamist Gang as a way of covering their crimes.

Anonymous Sudan claimed it attacked AO3 as it is a terrorist organization. “against all forms of degeneracy, and the site is full of disgusting smuts and other LGBTQ+ and NSFW things.”

The group initially stated that its first attack could last up to 24 hour. It now demands a Bitcoin payment of $30,000 and threatens to keep hitting AO3 indefinitely. “weeks” If it does not comply. AO3 however is a non profit organization that is funded solely through contributions and run by volunteers.

AO3 has also made it clear that it will not tolerate anti-Muslim attitudes, no matter what the circumstances. The latest Twitter post by AO3 said that the volunteers have not yet left. “working to mitigate the DDoS attacks.”

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What is AO3?

Archive of Our Own, or AO3, is currently the top website for fan-created material. This fansite is an online archive of fanworks created by users. It is famous for its huge collection of fanfictions. It was created by the Organization of Transformative Works, and hosts more than 11,050,000 fanfictions in over 57840 fandoms.

AO3’s user-friendly interface is highly praised. It follows a comprehensive system of labelling and categorization of works known as ‘Tags’. These tags let users filter works according their personal preferences. AO3 has a strict policy on removing works that do not meet their standards. “maximum inclusiveness” The publication of any legal work is allowed.

It is considered to be a taboo website because it also contains content that includes controversial or taboo subjects. “offensive”. The tags, however, ensure that all warnings are included, so users can only see what they feel comfortable with. AO3 users also claim that it provides a safe environment for them to express their creativity.

2013 Times The list of 50 best websites included AO3 and described it, “the most carefully curated, sanely organized, easily browsable and searchable nonprofit collection of fan fiction on the Web”. Archive of Our Own also won a Hugo Award for Best Related Work, in 2019.