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Archive of Our Own is down due to a DDoS attack

The website’s system admins are working on ‘countermeasures’

A photo of the fanfiction website, Archive of Our Own. At the top of the page, it says: Fandoms, Browse, Search, About. The color scheme of the website is white and red and it says Arhive of Our Own at the top. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Archive of Our Own (AO3), a leading repository of fan-written works, went down on Monday following a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Representatives of A03 did not give a timeline for when service to the website will be restored, 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 service requests in order to incapacitate it. The official Twitter account for AO3 first acknowledged technical issues early Monday morning before, roughly seven hours later, the account confirmed that the website was down due to a DDoS attack. At the time of publication the website is 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 in an email. The representative added that the organization will continue to keep readers updated with AO3’s Tumblr and Twitter accounts.

AO3 is an open-source website run by the non-profit Organization for Transformative Works. Founded in 2008, the website allows its users to upload and read fan-written 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 webpages. In addition to being large, the website won literary acclaim when it won the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Related Work.

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