The fanfiction domain was thrown into disarray on Monday as Archive of Our Own (AO3), a prominent repository of fan-written works, grappled with a relentless distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. In the face of this assault, AO3’s digital fortress crumbled, rendering the website inaccessible to its avid readership. While AO3’s representatives refrained from offering a definitive timeline for the website’s restoration, they assured users that a team of vigilant system administrators was actively engaged in developing robust “countermeasures” to combat the onslaught. Unfortunately, the digital haven that is AO3 remains offline at present.
The predicament unfolded when AO3’s official Twitter account initially acknowledged technical hiccups during the early hours of Monday. Several hours later, the account confirmed the somber truth: the website’s untimely demise was the result of a vicious DDoS attack. In a cloak of uncertainty, AO3 emphasized that no individuals or groups had come forward to claim responsibility for the assault, leaving the motive behind the attack shrouded in enigma. “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,” shared a representative of the Organization for Transformative Works in an email to Polygon. To keep their loyal readership in the loop, the organization pledged to communicate updates through AO3’s Tumblr and Twitter accounts.
AO3, a nonprofit endeavor helmed by the Organization for Transformative Works, has proudly served as an open-source sanctuary since its establishment in 2008. Enabling users to both share and revel in a vast assortment of fan-written creations, AO3 has blossomed into an unrivaled repository. A staggering collection of over 11 million works spanning an impressive 57,840 different fandoms resides within the digital confines of AO3, as per a preserved webpage. The exceptional literary contribution of AO3 was resoundingly acknowledged when it clinched the prestigious 2019 Hugo Award for Best Related Work, solidifying its standing as a true champion of the written word.