Newsflash: Linden Firelane Foils Latest W-Hat Attack

by Alphaville Herald on 23/11/05 at 4:35 am

by Walker Spaight

Seems like only yesterday that Herald correspondents were warily eyeing W-Hat griefers in the wake of the group’s notorious Grid-crashing attack on Second Life. [Actually, it was two days ago. --Ed.] Well, they’re back! But this time Linden Lab whipped a new weapon out of its arsenal, slashing and burning their own Grid to create a virtual world version of a firelane (pictured above) that contained the attack and prevented the world from winking out like a guttering candle once again.

The new attack, perpetrated at approximately 8pm yesterday, used similar griefing spheres to the one that brought down the Grid in October, self-replicating objects that fill a sim to capacity, choking off all avatar movement and ultimately incapacitating server after server until the entire Grid goes down. But according to forum traffic, the Lindens were on the case this time, and this time had a plan: by systematically bringing down a swathe of sims that cordoned off a portion of the Grid, they were able to prevent the attack from spreading. Philip Linden checked into the Live Help channel yesterday evening to confirm the Linden intervention.

SL resident ReallyRick Metropolitan, among others, was present during a portion of the attack, and kindly gave the Herald permission to use screenshots taken during the onslaught:

[UPDATE: These are such cool-looking pictures, we just had to bring you more:]

The creator of the objects in the latest attack was none other than Groovenstein Korvin, an already notorious resident of Second Life who has been associated with the SomethingAwful Goons, the group that originally spawned the W-Hats.

The Herald hates to say we told you so–actually, we love it. And we did tell you so, in this case, warning more than three weeks ago that the SA Goons planned an invasion of Second Life.

Anonymous Herald sources among the W-Hats point to a Grid-crashing script being distributed on the SomethingAwful forums. Note that our tipster points out that “readers might want to know that they can help during a disaster by typing “d” (no quotes) in the chat box.” Indeed, replication of the objects would seem to be disabled by typing “d,” if the script pictured was the one responsible.

The Herald applauds the Lindens’ quick response to the assault. Stay tuned to this paper for further developments in this breaking story.

24 Responses to “Newsflash: Linden Firelane Foils Latest W-Hat Attack”

  1. ReallyRick

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    Err…on that link for the Grid Crashing Script why does it say my name?

  2. Walker Spaight

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    No idea. Gotta ask the ‘Hats, man.

  3. Walker Spaight

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    UPDATE: An anoymous W-Hat source claims that the Grid-crashing script pictured on the SA forums was made to display ReallyRick Metropolitan’s name in retaliation for ReallyRick’s being the first to post pics of the attack on the SL forums. [NOTE: Our source previously reported the move was in order to throw Linden enforcers off the scent, and to settle an old score with ReallyRick, who is said to have been "responsible" for W-Hat bannings in the past. That information is now reported to be inaccurate.]

  4. no

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    Funny how the script you link to was posted long after the attack, shortly before your article, by a person who is banned from W-Hat (not to mention SL), saying “someone asked for this,” and mysteriously has a public way to kill them added in.

  5. One Song

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    Funny thing is guys me being the ultimate SL security expert, having tested and examined all sorts of imaginable grid attacks, I can safely tell you all that the sphere self-replication is only one of the mulitude of ways of crashing the grid.

    I guess you people just have to hope that the W-hat aren’t as creative and as skilled as me on that department. But surely its a matter of time until the Hats figure out some of the multitude of other ways to crash the grid, which I claim that is possible.

    Over and Out!
    One Song

  6. chicki

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    dude. grow up.

  7. Harlequin Salome

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    Wow. Okay, for once I have to be honest, the Lindens did a fantastic job. And as of right now, I am writing up a report as I was trapped within the quarentine zone… desperately fighting for survival. *gasp*

    But yeah, the Lindens acted fast and well, and for once proved that they were more cunning than the griefers.

  8. Harlequin Salome

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    And I think the Herald needs to sell shirts that say “The Herald Told You So”

  9. Prokofy Neva

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    You know, I’m really spooked about this. What if I hadn’t happened to fly by that big Anshe island and see that posse fooling around there, and zoomed in and seen the event griefers, and had them attack me, and then called the Lindens. Would the Lindens have *bothered* to follow up on them? Maybe take a little closer look at their activities? Maybe put in a little more preventative action? I trust they got to work post-haste after the last attack to make this firelane thingie, but still, did they have the names? Were they following the “broken windows” school of policing or not?

    And some people think I was whining and being petulant for having an attack using my RL picture. Bleh.

  10. Thomas Wrobel

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    Am I the only one thinking its very “Reboot” ish?

  11. Marsellus Wallace

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    I think maybe Lindens have basic security checks in place now (should have had them before). They see all of a sudden a bunch of objects being created at the same time, perhaps something went off in there system to alert them. Only real way to test this is to see if it happens again and they catch it. If so, then more than likely they have some sort of internal program in place to look for these abnormal type of things in the game. Who knows?

    Marsellus Wallace
    Happy Pre-Turkey Day People

  12. Dis Guy

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    Prokofy, I’ve heard from my sources that the reason Groovenstein did this attack was because of his encounter with you. He had received a “Community Review Pending” warning from Linden Labs because of “First Life Disclosure” and decided to leave with a bang. Looks like Prok’s whining is responsible for this grid attack guys.

  13. TrannyPet Barmy

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    I’m totally suprised that W-Hat haven’t [elided by Uri for giving grid crashing ideas to W-Hats].

    damn, now if i was as malicious as they say/imply i am, i’d have done this months ago !!! What’s taking you so long W-Hat, is LSL your limit ???

    TrannyPet Barmy

  14. Urizenus

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    Dis Guy, that’s like the dumbest post in history.

  15. Stellsy ( Fallen Hasp )

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    Linden Labs should end volunteer programs if they cant screen potential mentors properly and completely change their approach to enforcing ToS. They are takin no responsiblity for their own game. And im gonna watch with a smug smile and a BIG FAT I TOLD YOU SO as Second Life is flushed down the toliet by griefers.

  16. juro kothari

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    The dumbest post in history? Do you not get out much, Uri?

    What if that *was* the impetus for his actions? That is something we should be concerned with and it is something that I think LL has taken seriously. We should not be held hostage by an itchy griefer trigger finger, but knowing and recognizing that something as simple as an AR can set someone off and cause them to attempt to bring the whole grid down deserves more attention.

    Prok was well within his rights to ask that they remove the offending RL pics of Prok and he was also well within his rights to file an AR based on those actions. It was not Prok’s fault that this guy had an itchy trigger finger, but that doesn’t mean we ignore the possibility of it happening again.

    LL obviously takes this seriously now that it has happened multiple times in the last few weeks and I feel that they recognize the very real possibility of copy-cat griefers pulling stunts like this over and over again. LL added a notice in the Announcements section that notifies us that anyone found responsible for a grid-wide attack such as we’ve seen over the last few weeks, LL will distribute the RL info of the griefer to the local law enforcement officials for futher investigation. This, IMHO, is the appropriate way to head off further kamikaze-style attacks like this last one.

  17. no

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    And now he is permabanned from SA as well.

  18. Marsellus Wallace

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    What exactly is a Community Review? Uri, it is possible that is the reasoning, so it’s not necessarily the dumbest post in history. I’ve seen a lot of dumb posts, but it is possible what he is saying. Sounds exactly like the thinking of a griefer. If you’re going to go out, why not go out with a bang or give them good reason to throw you out? When I say good reason, I mean better than what they already have. Most griefers don’t think their original crimes are crimes so they say.. “Ok I’ll show them what a crime is.”

    Marsellus Wallace
    So say goodnight to the bad guy… – Scarface

  19. Marsellus Wallace

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    An old Herald article that I think applies. . . . . . . :

    Marsellus Wallace
    Uri, you talk to Walker yet about that Eve thing?

  20. Urizenus

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    What makes the post the dumbest in history is not the claim that dr_groovenstein did it for revenge at being abuse reported, but rather that Prok is therefore “responsible”. Prok isn’t responsible, and he had every right to AR dr_groovetard.

    OK, just to be fair, let’s say the post was in a large class of dumbest posts in history — what they have in common is blaming other people for their own fuckups and the fuckups of their oh so groovy friends.

  21. The Abusive Granny, Celestie

    Nov 23rd, 2005

    To my little virtual DUMP-lings,
    I think it is past due for my revival. I am back in The Sims Online but only for a limited time. I plan to make my offical return on Second Life in time for the holidays. That’s right, i’m back and i’m beautiful and I have RED HAIR. What does RED HAIR symbolize? Malice, Individuality, Rebellion, FIRE. I am THE ORIGINAL Mother of Mayhem. It’s good to be back…

    I OWN you,
    The Abusive Granny

  22. TrannyPet Barmy

    Nov 24th, 2005

    grrrrrrrrrrrr who the hell is the imposter who has been posting as me for the last how ever many months they’ve been posting on here ?????

    god damn it


  23. Urizenus

    Nov 24th, 2005

    Why assume you are the one and only Trannypet Barney? It is a very popular name.

  24. The Abusive Granny

    Nov 24th, 2005

    It’s a dumb name and i’m sure it belongs to a very dumb person.
    I can’t understand why anyone would want to be your imposter other than on Halloween.

    Seasons Greetings,
    The Abusive Granny

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