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  Third Major ‘Second Life’ Attack in April  
Posted 2006-05-01 by Tony Walsh
Last evening marked the third major denial of service attack on the virtual world of Second Life in the month of April, and follows an earlier global attack launched Friday. All such attacks are launched from within the virtual world itself, by means of self-replicating objects created by a malicious user and designed to overwhelm Second Life's technical infrastructure. Yesterday's attack took approximately 6 hours for the virtual world's maker (Linden Lab) to fully recover from, locking out over 200,000 active accounts for a period of several hours.

According a public statement yesterday from Linden Lab, the company is "working with the authorities to go after the people responsible for these attacks," but it is not known to which authorities the company refers, what "go after" means, or whom is responsible. In November, 2005, Linden Lab announced that denial of service attacks "result in substantial real-world economic harm, and Linden Lab intends to protect its interests using all legal means." In December, 2005, Linden Lab's CEO announced after a global attack that "I am turning over names to the FBI," adding, when asked for clarification, that "we will turn over data to the FBI. That is what we are doing. Already in progress." No results from any FBI investigation of Second Life attacks have been formally announced by the company.

Further examination of the history of global attacks on Second Life can be found at Clickable Culture and [1,2], with recent reflections on Second Life security in 3pointD's "Securing a User-Created Metaverse," and at the PlayNoEvil blog.
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