Second Life Database Hacked, 650K at Risk

Second Life, a popular fantasy Web locale where users create "resident" profiles, buy virtual homes and start businesses, has had its database hacked, and San Francisco, Calif.-based Linden Lab—the firm that manages the site—is notifying all of its 650,000 users that their real personal information may be at risk, Reuters reports.

The compromised database housed unencrypted customer names and addresses, computer log-ins and some credit card information, though the computer passwords and payment data were all encrypted, according to Reuters.

All Second Life residents have been asked to enter in a new password before accessing the site, according to Reuters.

Cory Ondrejka, Linden Lab’s chief technology officer, wrote in a message to Second Life users, “While we realize this is an inconvenience for residents, we believe it’s the safest course of action,” Reuters reports.

The hack was first noticed on Sept. 6, and Linden Lab immediately launched a probe, under which investigators were able to discover that an individual exploited an unknown hole in commercial software employed on Second Life servers to gain access to its database, according to Reuters.

Inside the virtual Second Life world, residents can use authentic cash to purchase “Linden Dollars,” for use inside the fantasy environs to perform such tasks as brokering plots of virtual land and creating fake companies, according to Reuters.

Due to the site’s growing popularity among Web surfers, such notable firms as Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo have set up virtual locations for their businesses with the Second Life setting, Reuters reports.

Visit Linden Lab’s official blog for more information.

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