Go Back To Your Slow Burn Fanfiction Now, AO3 Is Back Online After DDoS Attack

Go Back To Your Slow Burn Fanfiction Now, AO3 Is Back Online After DDoS Attack

It’s been a rough couple of days for fanfiction readers, with fanfic portal Archive Of Our Own (AO3) going dark on Monday following a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. While no timeline was given for the return of the site given they run on “volunteer power,” the official Twitter confirmed the site was back up and running with a “shiny new Cloudflare setup” last night.

Admins said there was the potential for further outages while the open-source site was optimised and safeguards put in place.  At the time of writing this, intermittent outages were still occurring, making it very hard to read the 50-chapter slow burn in my bookmarks. 

Hacktivist group Anonymous Sudan claimed responsibility for depriving everyone of their favourite fanfics, causing AO3 to go down late Monday while the team worked on “countermeasures,” to combat the attack. The group posted to Telegram, claiming they had targeted the site because they were, “against all forms of degeneracy, and the site is full of disgusting smuts(sic) and other LGBTQ+ and NSFW things.” 

AO3 said cybersecurity experts didn’t believe this was the true motivation for the attack and cautioned users against “believing any reasoning they provide for targeting [the site],” as well as their affiliation.  “We do not condone anti-Muslim sentiments under any circumstances. Additionally, to reiterate: cybersecurity experts believe the group claiming responsibility is lying about their affiliation and reasons for attacking websites. View the group’s statements with scepticism,” admins said in a tweet

AO3 is home to over 11 million “transformative works” across more than 59,120 fandoms, and received the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Related Work. The site is run by the non-profit Organization for Transformative Works, and was founded in 2008, before entering open beta in 2009 – that’s 14 years of bringing juicy enemies to lovers fanfiction to the people, if you’re a numbers person.

AO3 Tweet
Image: @polyknighte on Twitter

Fans took to Twitter to lament AO3’s absence as the downtime extended, with many joking that the Hurt/Comfort tag-filled hole in their hearts couldn’t be filled with similar sites like Wattpad. Twitter user @Gilariwrites summed up the feeling perfectly, sharing a painting of a wistful woman captioned, “When will my husband*(*AO3) return from the war.”

Thankfully, I and the 5.99 million other users on Archive Of Our Own (and many more not willing to sign up and have their questionable fanfiction history saved online) no longer have to use Wayback Machine to access their fun little bedtime stories now the site is back up and running.

Godspeed, AO3.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *