The leading repository of fan-written works, Archive of Our Own (AO3), went down on Monday following a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
AO3’s representatives are still uncertain about the website’s restoration but said that system administrators were working on “countermeasures” as of Monday afternoon.
A DDoS attack occurs when a malicious actor floods a website with multiple service requests with the goal of disabling it.
On their official Twitter account, AO3 acknowledged the technical issues early Monday morning before, before the malicious attack. At the time of the publication, the website was still down.
“We have not been contacted by anyone claiming credit for the DDoS as of this time, so there is nothing we can say for certain,” a representative of the Organization for Transformative Works told Polygon via email. In addition, the representative will continue to keep readers informed with AO3’s official Twitter and Tumblr accounts.
Moreover, the hacktivist group Anonymous Sudan claimed the said attack. It came as part of a campaign of similar DDoS attacks on U.S. organizations. The group then further stated that it is “against all forms of degeneracy, and the site is full of disgusting smuts and other LGBTQ+ and NSFW things.”
Additionally, AO3 has warned against the attacker’s claims regarding motivation at face value. Cybersecurity experts believe that the group may have connections to Russia, aiming to disrupt and stir up division in the West.
Founded in 2008, AO3 allows users to upload and read fan-written works. It is run by the non-profit Organization for Transformative Works. It has since gone on to be a leading repository for fanfiction and hosts over 11 million works across 57,840 different fandoms, according to one of its archived web pages.
After winning the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Related Work, the website also won literary acclaim. – WhatALife!/Val