by Pixeleen Mistral on 11/05/10 at 4:40 am
According to documents that appear to have been leaked from ModularSystems, the developers of the “Emerald” Second Life viewer have compiled a database of avatar names, IP addresses, and geo-location information for players who created Second Life accounts at the ModularSystems.com site. In addition, visitors to the developers’ land in the virtual world have been profiled in the database.
The leaked documents include e-mail exchanges, a partial dump of the secret database, php source code for portions of a “datamine” application, and a picture of the Emerald developers in a meeting with Linden Lab CEO M Linden, Linden legal council Marty Linden, and several other Second Life staff.
Unfortunately, pictures of a virtual meeting with top Linden leadership may not reassure the virtual world’s rank and file residents, as they consider the implications of leaked documents appearing on anonymous file sharing sites.
There is a strong sexual role play component to the Second Life game, and many players are sensitive to linkage of real life information and game accounts, particularly in the hands of third parties who may be less circumspect than Linden Lab. Several of the Emerald developers have “colorful” reputations which may also raise some eyebrows.
Is a database connecting avatars and IP addresses of concern? According to an e-mail exchange with second life resident Hazim Grazov [full text below], Linden Lab staff seemed to think so. Soft Linden said, “I’m working with a VP on how to best deal with this. This is extremely serious”.
However, it is unclear how seriously Linden Lab is treating the situation. This morning, the Herald contacted both Soft Linden and Joe Linden for comment. As we go to press 12 hours later, neither have replied and it is unknown what – if any – steps have been taken to limit the data collection.
According to the leaked documents, several Emerald developers were able to run searches against the database. One document shows a user named Jcool410 performing a “datamine” search – but it appears that Jcool410 ‘s account had been compromised. Other documents list what are believed to be Jcool410’s passwords — apparently Jcool did not get the memo warning against using passwords found in the dictionary.
Asked via Skype Saturday if there had been a breach of security at the modularsystems.com site, Jcool – who is known as Fractured Crystal in Second Life – declined to comment.
While it is possible that some of the documents have been fabricated, I can confirm at least two e-mail messages found in the Emerald Revealed documents are legitimate — both are chat messages that I sent to Fractured Crystal while he was offline and which were automatically forwarded to e-mail.
The news that Hazim Grazov raised questions about the Emerald developers’ data mining operation with Joe and Soft Linden will certainly lead to speculation that the recent Woodbury University Second Life ban was connected to the Emerald leaks. Mr. Grazov is known to have spent time with members of the Woodbury group in Second Life, and there was a confrontation between some members of the Woodbury faction and Fractured Crystal (a.k.a. Jcool410) shortly before Linden Lab removed the Soviet Woodbury sims and their leadership from the game.
As the Herald staff sifts through the Emerald Revealed documents, I am struck by the similarities between this confrontation and that of the Nicholas / Sephora mafia wars — the gameplay leaks out into the real world and website security breaches are used to score points against the other faction.
But are both sides treating this as just another game?
Subject: Re: Someone told me you might want to see this RE Emerald…
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 14:05:22 -0700
From: Joe Linden <email@example.com>
To: Hazim Gazov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Soft Linden <email@example.com>
We consider this a very serious event and have not finished our discussions
with their users.
I don’t know what the source of the file was, but if you know, I hope you
will encourage them not to release it publicly.
By the way, we determined that yours was the only voice account that had
been disabled. Is voice working for you again?
Thanks again for making us aware of this. Rest assured, we do not treat
events like this lightly.
– Joe Miller
On Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 1:36 PM, Hazim Gazov <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I heard the explanation Jay gave as to why he had the info, and I don’t buy
> The database allowed administrators to quickly determine if a new account
>> was a alt account of a griefer that had previously attacked the sim. It also
>> stored the IP used on registration portal on the website when you register a
>> avatar because avatars created on that portal usually logged directly into
>> Emerald Point and were the fastest route for griefing the sim. After it was
>> demonstrated that this was a effective solution to the problem, several
>> nodes were placed in a few other sims for short periods of time
> Since when do you need GeoIP functionality to determine if someone is an
> alt? From what I heard they had rather large GeoIP files used to obtain an
> approximate location from an IP address and had the code built into the
> From datemine.web.php:
>> $gi = geoip_open("geoip/GeoLiteCity.dat",GEOIP_STANDARD);
>> $giorg = geoip_open("geoip/GeoIPOrg.dat",GEOIP_STANDARD);
>> $giisp = geoip_open("geoip/GeoIPISP.dat",GEOIP_STANDARD);
>> $tip = $_GET['ip'];
>> $record = geoip_record_by_addr($gi,$tip);
>> /*$netspeed = geoip_country_id_by_addr($gi,$tip);
>> if ($netspeed == GEOIP_UNKNOWN_SPEED)$netspeed =
>> }else if ($netspeed == GEOIP_DIALUP_SPEED)$netspeed =
>> }else if ($netspeed == GEOIP_CABLEDSL_SPEED)$netspeed =
>> }else if ($netspeed == GEOIP_CORPORATE_SPEED)$netspeed =
>> else $netspeed = ‘???’;*/
>> $org = geoip_org_by_addr($giorg,$tip);
>> $isp = geoip_org_by_addr($giisp,$tip);
> I sincerely hope something more than a slap on the wrist is doled out.
> I’ve also heard that my IP was sent as the person who "hacked" into their
> website, that’s bull and they should pony up some logs if they want to say
> that. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just pulled up the IP from that
> On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 11:32 PM, Hazim Gazov <email@example.com>wrote:
>> Unfortunately, I wasn’t the first one to get this, so I don’t think I can
>> do much to limit the sharing of it… however AFAIK very few people have one
>> with full IP addresses, most people have one with the last two blocks
>> On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 6:05 PM, Soft Linden <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>> Yep, I see that, and I see the regapi collection. I’m working with a
>>> VP on how to best deal with this. This is extremely serious.
>>> Do you know how widely this has been spread, and could I trust you to
>>> limit further sharing?
>>> On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 12:25 PM, Hazim Gazov <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> > It’s being retained for the purpose of getting an SL user’s RL data
>>> > arbitrarily.
>>> > On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 4:22 PM, Hazim Gazov <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>> >> They’re not simply being retained, look at
>>> >> secondlifeutility/datamine.web.php
>>> >> On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 4:18 PM, Soft Linden <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> >>> I appreciate the heads up, Hazim, and I’m disappointed to see that the
>>> >>> IP addresses are being retained. I’ll let the appropriate Lindens
>>> >>> know.
>>> >>> On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 11:57 AM, Hazim Gazov <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>> >>> >
>>> >>> >
>>> >>> > ———- Forwarded message ———-
>>> >>> > From: Hazim Gazov <email@example.com>
>>> >>> > Date: Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 3:50 PM
>>> >>> > Subject: Re: Someone told me you might want to see this RE Emerald…
>>> >>> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>>> >>> >
>>> >>> >
>>> >>> > and I forgot the attachment, spectacular
>>> >>> >
>>> >>> > On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 3:49 PM, Hazim Gazov <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> >>> >>
>>> >>> >> Take a look at the SQL file and regapi/index.php at line 97…
>>> >>> >
>>> >>> >
>>> >>> >