What Happened to AO3 (Archive of Our Own)?

Content Continues After Ad

Archive of Our Own, or AO3, an unofficial fan fiction site based on popular franchises, was the victim of an apparent cyberattack. In the aftermath of the cyberattack, AO3 was still experiencing some outages and hiccups while trying to repair the damage caused.

What is AO3?

In 2009, the website was founded and currently hosts millions of stories, videos, art, and podcasts. Around 11 million works are included in the AO3 database, based on more than 59,000 “fandoms,” which include everything from intellectual properties to real-life personalities like Queen Elizabeth II.

Content Continues After Ad

It contains stories for all ages, from those that are family-friendly to those that are rated R. There is a tagging and categorizing system for all stories based on fandom, multiple tropes, and alternate universes.

What Happened to Archive of Our Own

Archive of Our Own

According to the platform’s official Twitter account, it was subjected to a denial-of-service attack, in which malicious software overloads a server with traffic. As a result, the site was offline for several hours. The cyberattack did not compromise any data, so users are not required to change their passwords or account information.

Content Continues After Ad
Content Continues After Ad

Although AO3 attempts to protect its users from future attacks, users may still experience error messages. A Washington Post survey of AO3 users found that their main concern revolved around losing previously written material, which may represent years of work. In November 2020, the site launched one series titled “Avengers: Infinite Wars,” comprising 103 chapters, 1.4 million words, and more than 94,000 readers.

In a Telegram post announcing the attack, an anonymous group claimed credit for it by accusing A03 of being disgusting; Cybersecurity-Connect reports that the attacks were carried out by a homophobic group.

Content Continues After Ad

According to reports, AO3 was demanded to pay a ransom of $30,000 by the group, which boasted that they had previously attacked Microsoft and others throughout Europe. However, the AO3 reporters have different reviews about the attacker and claim through Twitter that they do not believe the group was responsible for the attack. They called it an attack that was motivated by religion and politics.

If you are looking some AO3 Alternatives, checkout our list that is created by a professional team.