Recent Service Issues

Hi EF,

In waiting for the host to get back to us over the most recent outage, the Mods started digging into analytics to pinpoint the source of the disruption. In that, we discovered that EF was being repeatedly hit by the same IP address every few seconds. We took immediate action and banned that IP and service was restored within minutes.

Then we started looking at some of the symptoms of a DDOS/DOS attack, something we have never seriously considered before, and many symptoms do align with the outages we’ve experienced over the last few weeks. So it’s possible that the outages have been deliberate rather than just your enthusiasm for the event (which would both make more sense and less sense).

More sense: Not the members’ fault. Drabblemania definitely exceeds even our most optimistic expectations, but EF’s events have always been popular and this has never happened before.

Less sense: We have no idea why we would’ve been targeted for such an attack. Even with some similarities, this isn’t on the same scale as what was happening to AO3. For one thing, no one has claimed responsibility. For another, it looks less like a DDOS attack (which is what AO3 went through, with multiple actors working in tandem to overload the server) and more like a DOS attack (with a single actor working to overload the server).

Anyway, I’d like to believe it’s random (despite it happening multiple times now) and that it’ll now stop entirely, but we don’t know. In the interim, thank you for your patience and understanding. Should this happen again, we’ll at least know immediately where to look and what actions to take without waiting on the host.

Thank you!

--Holly and the Mods on July 19, 2023 11:26am 10 Comments

That's terrible!  I admit I did wonder about the AO3 attack and the timing of EF's difficulties, but I'm relieved that it isn't state actors.  Thank you to all the mods for your awesome volunteer work on an extraordinary site.

-- Soulburnt on July 19, 2023 12:55pm

Why would someone attack fanfiction websites is beyond me. But when stupidity goes hand in hand with malevolence, the results are often surprising.  Thanks to the mods for your reactivity and your investment in this amazing haven. hearts

-- Hannora on July 19, 2023 11:28pm

As always, thank you all for your hard work! 

-- RavenLove12 on July 19, 2023 11:58pm

I’m very confused on the Fanfiction website, especially because they are mostly nonprofit.

-- Poptart on July 20, 2023 09:47am

I have no idea why anyone would target us either. And honestly, when it was suggested that EF was down for the same reason AO3 was down, we mostly thought that was ridiculous. Looking at the analytics helps!

Thank you guys!

-- Holly on July 21, 2023 09:05am

Yikes! Never underestimate how easily amused some people can be. Targeting a fanfiction archive seems silly, but..... I'm glad you were able to identify the culprit (so to speak) and fix it. At least now you will know where to look first. Thanks for all your time and energy.

-- slaymesoftly on July 24, 2023 01:10am

Thank you, Mods, for keeping EF open and safe.

-- Joan963z on August 03, 2023 03:37am

Thank you, Mods, for keeping EF open and safe.

-- Joan963z on August 03, 2023 08:09am

Yeah, I think I'm one of the ones that suggested the connection, lol-- I don't think it's the same group but more like someone got the idea from the AO3 attack, or there is a message board where multiple folks are getting the same ideas.  Fandom goes through waves of pushback against fiction with sexual themes, and we're at a high tide.

-- Kirinin on August 03, 2023 04:27pm

Thank you all for all your work keeping Elysian Fields online and almost always working just fine.  Attacking fanfiction site just seems to peculiar.

-- nmcil on August 08, 2023 05:23am