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  Virtual Humiliation Virus Contained  
Posted 2004-12-21 by Tony Walsh
The virtual world of Second Life, which allows users to create and program objects, features a number of built-in systems to minimize the effects of malicious code. Viruses that spread programmatically are fairly easy to block. Viruses that spread via social engineering, however, are much harder to control. Two days ago, a harmful object enjoyed limited circulation in Second Life. The object, known as "red wings," contained malicious programming that activated when the "red wings" were attached, sending a pornographic photo to those in the area. The hostile object was apparently created by one user to humiliate another. The Lindens were called in, and rectified the situation quickly.

In October, a well-intentioned programmer created self-replicating "zombie" objects that sought out and swarmed innocent avatars. As with all experiments involving zombies, this one went horribly awry, confusing and annoying a number of experienced and new users.

In September, a user was looking for a way to simulate disease in Second Life. I haven't heard anything about the project since.
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