The Beloved Fanfiction Hub AO3 is Down Due to Mysterious DDoS attacks
AO3 (Archive of Our Own), a popular fanfiction platform, recently suffered a series of DDoS attack. This caused widespread frustration and dissatisfaction among its loyal users. Fans were unable to access the website for several consecutive days because the platform was unavailable. AO3’s inclusiveness has helped it gain immense popularity in the past due to its ability to allow fans to freely share their creativity with a large audience. This outage not only affected individual users but also the entire fanfiction community who rely on AO3 to provide a safe and supportive environment.
The DDoS attacks that flooded AO3’s website with traffic were disruptive and impacted AO3’s ability to manage the influx. The incident brought to light the vulnerability of fanfiction sites, which are often targeted by attackers due to their popularity and large following. The AO3 team has worked hard to restore the site, protect user data and to minimize the impact of the disruption. However, this caused frustration among the fanfiction community and highlighted the importance of increased security measures in order to ensure that the community can continue to share and connect their creative works. Despite the setbacks, users still remain optimistic that AO3 can continue to thrive and be a platform which champions fan voices and fosters a global sense of community.
Popular fanfiction platform Archive of Our Own (AO3) has been restored after a wave of distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks forced the website offline for over a day. AO3 announced the outage via the official Twitter account of the company on 10th July at 8.24AM ET. later confirming This issue is caused by “a DDoS attack” — a malicious cybercrime in which threat actors overwhelm a server with traffic — “causing the servers to fall over.”
Updated on Tuesday afternoon AO3 tweeted, “We’re back!” But note that “may need to do some work to optimize our shiny new Cloudflare setup.” It took a while for the site to load but we were still able to get on it.
Anonymous Sudan claims responsibility for the attack and demands a ransom payment to stop the operation. As DDoS does not compromise personal data of users, the company says that there is no need to change passwords as a result of this outage.
“All we can say at present is that we have not been directly contacted by anyone regarding the DDoS attack, so we have no confirmed reason of why the site is being targeted,” Claudia Rebaza is a spokesperson for the Organization for Transformative WorksThe non-profit organization that owns AO3 tells The Verge. “We also currently have no timeline for the site being consistently back online. We expect things to slowly improve as our dedicated volunteer sysadmins continue to take measures against the attack.”
A group on the Telegram messaging service claiming to be ‘hacktivist’ organization Anonymous Sudan has taken credit for the attack. Threat intelligence vendor FlashpointAnonymous Sudan is active since January 2023 and claims responsibility for DDoS attacks against Microsoft You can also find out more about the following: various companies around EuropeThough it seems that the group does not have any credible affiliations with the country Sudan or the former Anonymous group operating within it,
AO3 warns that these claims are to be treated with a grain of salt. “A group presenting themselves as a collective of religiously and politically motivated hackers has claimed responsibility for the attack,” “The platform tweeted on Monday.Cybersecurity experts believe the group claiming responsibility is lying about their affiliation and reasons for attacking websites. View the group’s statements with skepticism.”
The Anonymous Sudan group initially claimed the attack would persist for up to 24 hours, but has since issued a ransom demand for $30k worth of Bitcoin, threatening to keep AO3 down for weeks if the company doesn’t comply. The Organization for Transformative Works (and its AO3 project) is entirely supported by user donations and run by volunteers, which means the company is unlikely to be able to afford such a ransom even if this threat is revealed to be genuine.
Update July 11, 2:04PM ET: Updated to add that AO3 is back online, and added a statement from a OTW spokesperson.