Archive of Our Own (AO3), a prominent hub for fan-written works, was thrust into chaos on Monday due to a disruptive distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. The assault, which involves overwhelming a website with an avalanche of service requests, rendered AO3 inaccessible to its vast community of fans. Although AO3’s representatives refrained from providing a specific timeline for recovery, they assured users that a team of diligent system administrators was diligently working on implementing “countermeasures” to combat the attack. As of now, AO3 remains offline, leaving fans anxiously awaiting its restoration.
The turmoil began when AO3’s official Twitter account initially acknowledged technical difficulties early on Monday morning. Several hours later, the account confirmed the true cause: a relentless DDoS attack had brought the website to its knees. At present, no individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack, leaving the motive behind the assault unclear. In an email response to Polygon, a representative of the Organization for Transformative Works stated, “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.” The organization is committed to keeping readers informed through AO3’s Tumblr and Twitter accounts.
AO3, operated by the non-profit Organization for Transformative Works, has played a pivotal role in fostering a vibrant community of fan-written content since its establishment in 2008. The platform allows users to upload and enjoy a wide range of fanfiction, solidifying its status as a leading repository for this genre. With over 11 million works spanning across an impressive 57,840 different fandoms, AO3 has become a go-to destination for fans worldwide. Its significant contributions to literature were recognized in 2019 when AO3 received the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Related Work, cementing its position as a powerhouse in the industry.