“Anomous Sudan” vs LGBT fanfiction: who will win this confrontation
Terrible hacktivists with religious motives decided to wean fans of fan stories from their favorite reading matter.
The popular fanfiction publishing platform Archive of Our Own (AO3) has been the victim of a massive DDoS-attack, which “put down” the site on Monday, and continues to this day. There is no access to the site yet, and representatives of the site are trying to mitigate the impact of the attack by redistributing the load.
Message on the official website of the project (translated into Russian)
AO3 is a project of the non-profit Organization for Transformative Works, which is fully supported by user donations and filled with free content by volunteers and enthusiasts. The site contains millions of fanfiction, fanart, fanvideos and other creative works for various fandoms.
The first to disable the site informed AO3 official Twitter account *July 10. It was later confirmed that the cause of the problem was a targeted DDoS attack – a malicious act of hackers who overload the server with traffic and prevent it from functioning normally.
Responsibility for the attack was quickly claimed by the hacktivist group. “Anonymous Sudan”by posting a lengthy statement on his Telegram channel. “We will not allow your disgusting site to continue to promote such immoral and disgusting things as obscenities about rape, pedophilia, LGBTQ people, sexual exploitation, human trafficking and any other immoral disease known to man. We can bypass any protection you set, we will make sure that the site does not work for as long as possible while your “experts” scratch their heads ignorantly, trying to find a solution, ”the attackers said.
Initially, the hackers announced an attack lasting 24 hours, but then, apparently, they decided to make money, not just wasting the power of their botnet network. Therefore, the attackers requested a ransom of $30,000 in bitcoins from the platform and now threaten to keep AO3 under a flurry of attacks for several weeks if the ransom is not paid. A very bold request, given the voluntary and non-commercial nature of the AO3 platform.
The site’s team quickly responded to the hackers’ claims, urging people to be skeptical, as the group has strong religious and political motives for its attacks, and often leaves out important details. Fan works may indeed contain erotic material, but all such works are usually marked with a special mark. Otherwise, the hacktivists of “Anonymous Sudan” can safely attack the same PornHub for spreading traditional and immoral values.
According to the company flash pointcyber threat specialist Anonymous Sudan has been active since January 2023 and claims responsibility for many DDoS attacks, including recent incident with the fall of OneDrive, credential theft claims clients Microsoft, weeks of pressure Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and other incidents with various companies across Europe.
AO3 representatives are trying to somehow restore access to the platform, and also remind users that DDoS attacks do not violate the confidentiality of user data, so site participants do not need to worry and frantically change passwords, attackers will still not get access to them.
It is worth saying that AO3 is not a platform whose inoperability can lead to disastrous consequences or large financial losses. Therefore, if the hacktivists from Anonymous Sudan do not mind wasting their power on a site with user-generated fanfiction, it will continue its work as if nothing had happened in a couple of weeks, when the attackers find a larger and more solvent victim.