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Second Life Hit By Massive In-Game Worm

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the don't-touch-that-ring dept.

249

An anonymous reader writes, "At 2:46 CST today, the game Second Life was hit by a massive attack by a rogue programmer. Spinning gold rings began to appear in the air and on the ground, and as users interacted with them they began to chase and replicate. Apparently, most people are willing to touch an object they've never seen before and this invoked a worm script that was designed to multiply and spread across the 2,700+ servers run by Linden Labs in California, the game's owner. Many of the six hundred thousand active users experienced serious lag and lost connectivity to the servers, making it one of the largest known denial-of-service attacks in an online game. Linden Labs had to invoke martial law and lock out all logins by users except their staff as they began the task of cleaning the servers of what they began to term 'the grey goo.'" Comments in the SL blog entry indicate that Linden Labs had already deployed a "grey goo fence" before this worm struck, but someone found a hole in it.

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249 comments

Ha ha (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16910436)

Man, that's kinda funny.

Re:Ha ha (5, Insightful)

Arkaaito (951305) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910478)

Yeah, pointless acts of mass malice have come to Second Life. Now it really IS just like the real world.

Giant worm??? You know what that means... (2, Funny)

revolu7ion (994315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910912)

honey, we shrunk the secondlife-kids...

Re:Ha ha (1)

tezbobobo (879983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910500)

Man, thats exactly what I thought but wasn't willing to say it in case I got flamed. Cats out now.

Re:Ha ha (3, Funny)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911078)

Well, it was modded "redundant." Obviously everyone was thinking it.

Swi

Neat! (5, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910468)

Now what they need is some sort of illness that affects characters temporarily, just like real life! Imagine, your character gets a cold and slows down and sneezes every once in a while. Or hey, you go kiss another character (if that's possible) and your character gets infected with herpes! Wouldn't that be fun? Oh wait - that was me last weekend. Damn.

Someone please explain (3, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910528)

This sounds like horseshit. It's like something you would see in a factually absurd hollywood movie about a programmer uploading a virus into the power grid. How does this work in these games that someone is ever allowed to inject a code that can run on someone elses session? Why would they allow that. Spining rings appearing in my session from some one elses code and my computer runs the code if I touch them. Praise Tron. I assume there is some explanation for this but since I'm not a gamer I am without a clue.

Re:Someone please explain (5, Informative)

GuruBuckaroo (833982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910574)

Calling it a 'worm' is kind of a stretch. It does not affect your local computer, it affects the view of the world in your local client. It doesn't run code on your computer, it just adds extra "in-game" items that automatically duplicate themselves and clog the Tubes.

Re:Someone please explain (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16911326)

Huh? By definition a worm is a self replicating program or algorithm that causes harm, even if only by using bandwidth, network, or computer resources.

That is exactly what this worm did.

Re:Someone please explain (1)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910632)

They probably programmed it to look like that is what happened, although maybe the spinning rings only occurred on already infected clients, so interacting with the rings was didn't mean you got infected, but in fact already were infected.

They probably programmed this to perpetuate the myth from said movies, and make people see the virus rather than just feel the lag. It does take a sort of showman to do something like that, and why not in a game take the showmanship approach? Not that I endorse infecting anything, but it is an interesting concept.

Re:Someone please explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16910696)

How does this work in these games that someone is ever allowed to inject a code that can run on someone elses session?

The same way it's worked ever since the dawn of computer games. Or do you code all of your games yourself?

On a more serious note, MUSHes have had the ability to have user-created and user-scripted objects in the game world for decades now.

Re:Someone please explain (5, Interesting)

TekPolitik (147802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910850)

How does this work in these games that someone is ever allowed to inject a code that can run on someone elses session?

Second Life users are able to create objects using a fairly complete scripting language. The scripts run on the servers, and an object can create more objects when somebody interacts with it. It "runs" in other peoples' sessions not because it's running on their system but because they're all viewing the same MMORPG environment.

And to preempt your inevitable comment, yes, it is very lame. I can't believe people are paying ongoing fees (in US dollars) to hold land in this thing.

Re:Someone please explain (5, Informative)

DarkAxi0m (928088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910980)

every object you create in SL can have scripts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linden_Scripting_Lang uage [wikipedia.org] added to them, that fire on different events, ie touch, never ending loops or the right click menu etc.
some of the commands let you create/spawn (i cant think of the word they use) other objects, like rain, or stars that follow you as you fly around. These objects in turn can have there own scripts too.
i don't know my self how they normally stop never ending loops of created objects other than them asking people nicely not to do it.
Some people have asked to able to disable the scripts but this, i think would have a to greater effects as every thing, doors, cars, lifts, dance club lights etc use the scripts.

i don't mind it, as long a people remember that its really just a glorified chat program with scripts, ie irc with a gui /fish

Re:Someone please explain (5, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911616)

i don't mind it, as long a people remember that its really just a glorified chat program with scripts, ie irc with a gui /fish

In that same vein, I would mind this WWW thing a lot less, if people remember that it's really just a glorified Gopher program with scripts...

Re:Neat! (1)

acidrain (35064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910576)

I think this was characterized as break out of nano-technology by the admins:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_goo [wikipedia.org]

Which is a self-replicating sludge of nano-tech which coats the entire world. And that is even cooler/worse than your case of herpes "last week."

Re:Neat! (2, Funny)

Class Act Dynamo (802223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910926)

I think a good case of explosive diarrhea spreading through the virtual world would be quite amusing.

Re:Neat! (2, Funny)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911240)

>>
Or hey, you go kiss another character
>>

Kissing another character is not the most likely vector for an infection in Second Life. We'll leave it at that.

Re:Neat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16911434)

There are infact things exactly like that. "Fleas" and being set on fire which if you run around and contact other avs you spread the fire, etc. Generally harmless fun.

I don't even know why this article happened to make it to /. today. This is about the 50th time a grey goo attack has been made on SL and in the next 2 years there will be 50 more.... :/

No matter how many thousands of people you have trying to do something positive, you will always have the handful that do nothing but try to "take it down". Such is the human state.

Ha (5, Funny)

8daze (1029526) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910484)

Proof that all it takes to kill the Internet is something shiny.

Re:Ha (4, Funny)

G-funk (22712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911238)

Linden labs have released Images of the suspected mastermind [arstechnica.com] . If sighted, do not approach the suspect, and inform police!

Grey Goo? (-1, Troll)

huckda (398277) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910486)

Now I know what Vista's full of...

Martial law?! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16910490)

Martial law...it's a game ffs.

Not just misleading, but factually inaccurate too! (5, Informative)

GuruBuckaroo (833982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910494)

First off, there were only about 14,000 people on the system at the time, not 600,000 as indicated in the summary. Second, while they did lock out new logins, it should be pointed out that any user who was currently online was not kicked off - and the period of "martial law" lasted about 20 minutes.

Of course, if there were 600,000 users on at the same time, the "game" would be unplayable - it's tough enough when it gets over about 10,000 right now.

Re:Not just misleading, but factually inaccurate t (2, Funny)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911076)

It's not just the content, it's also the presentation:

"...Linden Labs in California, the game's owner."

Do Second Life users also grab at modifiers that are dangled [wikipedia.org] in front of them?

- RG>

Re:Not just misleading, but factually inaccurate t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16911106)

Who cares if "martial law" is a misnomer? It's a video game. If someone called Valve "fascists" for shutting down the Steam master servers for a while, people would _laugh,_ not get huffy.

Re:Not just misleading, but factually inaccurate t (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911472)

Second, while they did lock out new logins, it should be pointed out that any user who was currently online was not kicked off

It's now misleading to use standard english? Locking out " new logins" carries the connotation that only new login attempts would be affected.

LK

Re:Not just misleading, but factually inaccurate t (3, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911564)

Of course, if there were 600,000 users on at the same time, the "game" would be unplayable - it's tough enough when it gets over about 10,000 right now.

With 2700+ servers they have a hard time handling more than 10k users? Less than 4 users per server is tough enough? Um, I think there's Opportunities here.

--
*Art

Bad soap opera... (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910512)

Second Life as the worm turns.

And it was just getting good (5, Interesting)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910516)

A few weeks ago I was hearing things about SL like that corporations were holding press conferences there, businesses were running there and making good profits, and its economy was worth millions of dollars. I thought SL was just beginning to become important, and show the world that a virtual economy was a viable idea.

Now we have CopyBot and grey goo and it seems like SL is just another dodgy online game after all.

Re:And it was just getting good (4, Interesting)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910708)

It's also a haven for sleaze [somethingawful.com] . Say what you want about people's right to free expression, but there is such a thing as going too far [somethingawful.com] . It's no wonder that Second Life has attracted so much ire. It was a "dodgy online game" long before Copybot and grey goo hit the scene.

Re:And it was just getting good (5, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910936)

Now we have CopyBot and grey goo and it seems like SL is just another dodgy online game after all


Wow, given the same evidence, I drew exactly the opposite conclusion. A simple "dodgy online game" wouldn't give its players enough control over their world to allow this sort of shennanigans to happen. Things like viruses can only occur when people are given access to a Turing-complete programming language and allowed to do what they like with it... which is what SL does, and why it's not "just a game", but rather a platform. Granted, it may be an infant platform, still buggy and insecure, and not necessarily useful for very much yet, but then you could say the same thing about the Internet itself a few years ago.

Re:And it was just getting good (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911468)

Wow, given the same evidence, i drew the conclusion your a total cock snapper. there's no such thing as a "turing complete programming language" the turing test reffers to a test to see if a program could be considered intelligent, your mixing terms. SL is a lame ass game, and proof that you can always find people stupid enough to pay for anything.

Re:And it was just getting good (2, Informative)

Rob_Warwick (789939) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911532)

Turing complete [wikipedia.org] refers to a language that's capable of emulating a Universal Turing Machine. It has nothing to do with the Turing test except for who it's named after.

Re:And it was just getting good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16911650)

Haha, dumbass.

Re:And it was just getting good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16911692)

Wow, looks like someone got caught with their pants down getting fucked by the family goat. How does it feel to be a retard?

Re:And it was just getting good (2, Interesting)

Cederic (9623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911640)


A simple "dodgy online game" wouldn't give its players enough control over their world to allow this sort of shennanigans to happen.

Have you even heard of MUDs?

Re:And it was just getting good (2, Insightful)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911144)

Excuse me, but how could an "online economy" ever be viable? It doesn't produce anything, and consumes energy.

Re:And it was just getting good (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16911224)

It's a real-world entertainment service. People get entertainment value out of it, and are willing to spend real-world bucks to get it.

Re:And it was just getting good (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911230)

It produces services such as entertainment, communication, and information.

It is no less viable in this sense than an online music store, or other similar business models.

Re:And it was just getting good (3, Interesting)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911234)

Excuse me, but how could an "online economy" ever be viable? It doesn't produce anything, and [clip]

You're new, I'm guessing...

It produces an environment whereby the ever sought-after eyeballs are gathered, occasionally focused and always tracked. Doesn't matter if it is a polar bear in a snow storm, if you can prove that the multitudes are looking your way, you can cash in.

Re:And it was just getting good (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911508)

i think his point is that at some point you actually have to produce something people will use.

Re:And it was just getting good (1)

descil (119554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911606)

Sure, that's his point. But there are plenty of secondlife consumers. Supposedly 1.5 million (up .75 million in three weeks, kinda fishy)

Oh NOOO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16910518)

I just finished my homework and found this article!

Guess I'll go watch Family Guy and not play Second Life as usual.

I played once last year; I hear it hasn't gotten any better.
What's the draw?
Why so many articles on this stupid game?

Re:Oh NOOO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16910694)

Yeah, Second Life isn't that great. No order, everything is random, bad jokes irrelevant to anything, talking animals in sexual situations, grown men pretending to be babies... oh wait, I meant family guy, sorry.

Re:Oh NOOO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16910876)

You forgot Family Guy is less of a waste of time than 30 min. in Second Life.

What? (5, Interesting)

JimXugle (921609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910538)

What? No Screenshot from anybody?

I guess it's time... (0)

dohzer (867770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910540)

...for people to shut down their second life and move on to their third.

Re:I guess it's time... (1)

Necrobruiser (611198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911466)

or for people to just get a life....

Who dun it? (1)

cheese-cube (910830) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910560)

So who did it? Most people will probably blame the W-Hats, methinks.

Re:Who dun it? (4, Funny)

Mongoose (8480) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910998)

Sonic and Tails!

- Shadow

Second Life slowed down? (5, Funny)

Ididerus (898803) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910594)

Wow, so now they're blaming it on a "worm"... ok. SL is like watching an MMO flipbook, the packet-loss is phenomenal while they continue to supposedly attract corporations and live-weather map projects, host in-game advertising and I'm sure making money off people somehow with Linden cash transfers. Buy some freaking servers, or get rid of the 2,700 solar-powered calculators currently running the thing.

Getting close to "Snow Crash" here (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910596)

This reads like something from Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash".

I never thought we'd get real systems vulnerable to attacks with 3D visual components as an integral part of the attack. This is much closer to SF than expected.

Is there a video?

Re:Getting close to "Snow Crash" here (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910800)

This reads like something from Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash". I never thought we'd get real systems vulnerable to attacks with 3D visual components as an integral part of the attack. This is much closer to SF than expected.

No kidding. And while this definitely sucks for Linden and the players, I can't help but think "holy crap this is cool!" much in the same way I read in awe the story of the scammer from EVE who scammed all that money out of people.

Yeah, this sort of thing sucks, but we're learning some interesting things about human behavior (especially in virtual worlds) and we're learning some technical things as well.

I wonder....should they call this the Sonic Worm due to the ring-like nature of the worm?

Don't get too excited (2, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911178)

In snow crash, the visual component was being used to transmit information and reprogram computing machines, in that case the brain. It was an impressive leap of insight into interfaces and the nature of computing machines, not too different than the buffer overflows we've been plagued with since.

In the second life case, the visual component exists because pretty much everything in second life is required to have a visual component of some sort. In this case, the visual component of a ring existed soley as an icon would in an outlook express virus... "click here to infect your system!" And people did. The ring icon is not integral to the attack in any way other than as hot tennis players have been integral to attacks in the past.

Not to burst your bubble, but it isn't exactly a technological marvel.

Re:Getting close to "Snow Crash" here (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911206)

You forgot the WoW plague. I thought that was pretty interesting too. And it was clearly deliberate and difficult to accomplish, so it speaks to how people would prefer to spend their time.

Second Life = Snow Crash (4, Funny)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911286)

Take one look at some of the screenshots from that game and *boom* say byebye to your cerebral cortex. Think of the ugliest possible art stretched into three dimensions doing things that would make Japanese tentacle monsters say "Hey, that just ain't right".

Time for some Black Ice (3, Interesting)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910606)

Wow, talk about reality imitating art. Or, art imitating art. Or technology imitating art. Or the virtual imitating the virtual.

Annnyway, this sure brings me back a few years. The first time I read Neuromancer [wikipedia.org] , I thought, "Damn, what would it be like to live in a world where interacting with computers is so visceral?" We haven't developed networked, immersive 3d environments, but we've sure come a long way from the days when just getting on the Internet from home was a major accomplishment.

I'd say this attack is proof that no matter how creative and interesting and fun an environment you create, there's always going to be someone out there who will put a lot of time and effort into pissing in it. I'm sure the creator of the worm has some sort of wonderful rationalization, of course. I wonder, is it worse to attack networks in the name of profit (or patriotism), or to do so just because you can?

Re:Time for some Black Ice (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16910674)

correct, I build large websites for a living, and now spend *much* more time on the asshole factor than on the actual website functionality, otherwise you can bet all your marbles that within a short time of something being a success it will be ripped to pieces by the jerks.

Sometimes I wished that there was a internet driving license equivalent, but really that's only on days ending on 'day', other days I'm not so sure that's a good thing and I want everybody to be anonymous.

But what I would not give for 15 minutes in a small room with a baseball bat and some of these jerks that think that it's fun to destroy stuff just because they can. Think about what the internet *could* be right now without all these assholes doing their best to destroy it. If it worked like that in real life we'd all be living in our own private fort knox.

Re:Time for some Black Ice (1)

RubberDogBone (851604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911644)

Many of us have drivers licenses, but how many of us still drive badly, break assorted traffic laws on a routine basis, and generally get away with it? I know I do.

There are already assorted "anti-hacking" laws and even sections of SL's user agreement that prohibit this sort of thing but still it happens. It would still happen as long as the perpetrators felt they could either get away with it or at least have enough fun out of it to make it worth whatever consequences might happen.

Now that SL money is freely convertable to and from real money, there is also a financial incentive to get in SL and disrupt commerce. Giving businesses a headache IS missing enough for some people.

Re:Time for some Black Ice (2, Insightful)

HiThere (15173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911268)

It's worse to attack for money or patriotism.

The reason is that the graffito "artists" serve a useful function, they alert you to holes in you work, and they don't generally do much damage. (Not compared to the others.)

Think about it, which is worse:
1) a virus that crashes your system
2) a virus that doesn't crash your system, but corrupts the payroll files

I think you'll agree that 2 is MUCH worse than 1.

Like a snake around the brainstem (5, Funny)

Fallorn (784422) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910608)

Hey Kid, Want to try some Snow Crash?

Re:Like a snake around the brainstem (1)

kevlarcowboy (996973) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910970)

Damn you beat me to it...

So me and my friends were just enjoying the concert when these two guys jumped onto the stage on bikes and started fighting. Pretty trippy light show though...

What the hell? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16910638)

Why have there been a bunch of stories about Second Life lately?

You people don't even have control of your first lives...

Screenshots? (2, Interesting)

quanticle (843097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910646)

This thread is worthless without pictures.

Does anyone have screenshots of the alleged "grey goo"?

Re:Screenshots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16910870)

It was just a whole bunch of rings from a Sonic game that made a ringing sound when you touched them.

Re:Screenshots? (5, Informative)

Erazmus (145656) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911362)

I found a screenshot over at Snapzilla [sluniverse.com] .

Nice Hack (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16910676)

Nice hack. Kudos to whomever pulled it off. The videogame generation is in danger of becoming a legion of conformist, rule-following lab mice, conditioned to obey and consume, differentiated only by which Big Media corporation they swear allegiance to. It's good to see someone somewhere is sowing discord. Eris would be pleased, but then who gives a fuck what she thinks ;P

For those that aren't familiar. (1)

hajus (990255) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910762)

Second life allows users to create virtual objects which can be sold (or transfered) to others. These are much like physical objects in the game world, like body parts (to change the way you look) and can be sold from ingame vending machines or whatever. Most, if not all, have scripts associated with them to direct their behaviour and how they interact with other objects or users. I don't know if this is compiled to bytecode or what. Something like this probably resulted from a duplicate_when_touched() or something similar that worked around the grey goo protection.

users thought it was a cock ring (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16910796)

SL is full of pervs

Second Life needs a new name (1, Informative)

TekPolitik (147802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910802)

Linden Labs had to invoke martial law...

Some people seriously need to get a grip. This is all ones and zeroes - comparisons with "martial law" are just silly. Second Life needs to be renamed to give its users a much needed message - namely, Get A Life

Re:Second Life needs a new name (1, Funny)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910908)

"Real Life" is all 1's and 0's at a fundamental level, as well... so what is your point, besides the one on top of your head?

Idiot.

Re:Second Life needs a new name (-1, Troll)

TekPolitik (147802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911056)

"Real Life" is all 1's and 0's at a fundamental level, as well... so what is your point, besides the one on top of your head?

That paragraph at least proves the existence of real life (human) zeroes.

Re:Second Life needs a new name (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911316)

"Real Life" is all 1's and 0's at a fundamental level, as well...

Here is a clue for you [wikipedia.org] .

Idiot.

My thoughts exactly.

Re:Second Life needs a new name (5, Funny)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910976)

Second Life needs to be renamed to give its users a much needed message - namely, Get A Life


I submit that anybody who posts to Slashdot about the other people's need to "get a life" should spontaneously explode from sheer force of concentrated hypocrisy.

Re:Second Life needs a new name (0, Troll)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911444)

spontaneously explode from sheer force of concentrated hypocrisy.

Holy crap, someone needs to get a life!

Re:Second Life needs a new name (1)

bigt_littleodd (594513) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911016)

Agreed. I dl'd Second Life a couple months ago to see what all the fuss was about. Kinda neat for a few minutes, but every time I saw the icon on my desktop this question popped into my head: "I need to start this program because ....?" Real life is full enough for me. I don't do SL, and I feel fulfilled enough with doing stuff with my wife and kids, working around the house, and trying to take care of the yardwork and intermitently trying to finish the basement. For escapism, I use books and movies.

Mum nailed it! (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910882)

Like my Mom always used to say: "Don't take virtual candy from virtual strangers".

This one wasn't much to write home about afaict (2, Informative)

ka-klick (160833) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910902)

I was online when this thing was attacking, and it never seemed to get to my sim - I saw the notices, and the web notice that they'd locked things down to linden login, but they let anyone there stay. It was laggy, but that's not that unusual these days. At least with this one, the grid was never fully down (if you were already in or didn't get booted) and the Lindens were able to contain and clean it up pretty quick (unlike some of the marathon outages caused by goo of the past). Total offline time for this one was about 1/2 hour.

A clarification - even if there are currently ~600k active user accounts there are usually only ~10K or so online any given time of day.

Anyway, I'd say the overreaction to copy bot did more damage to SL as a whole than this thing did.

Yawn.

Well, look on the bright side... (4, Funny)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910918)

It looks like the admins now have a "second job"....

Stuff (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910946)

I'm suprised this hasn't happened before. (Well, it did. But nobody cared. And rightly so.)

In a virtual world where you can script any object and have it any other player interact with it, there's bound to be an errant object which bounces 100ft into the air and splits into thousands of self-replicating drones. It's only natural.

Heck, I'd do that in my 'first life', but I'm not that good at origami.

Re:Stuff (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911334)

... bounces 100ft into the air ...

Please define "ft" and "air". The standard definitions don't seem to work in this context.

This sounds like a job for... (5, Funny)

PrismaticBooger (103265) | more than 7 years ago | (#16910968)

Sonic the Hedgehog!

Sorcerer's Apprentice (2, Interesting)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911012)

This appears to be related, at least in concept, to problem which sometimes comes up in network protocol design, Sorcerer's Apprentice Syndrome [wikipedia.org] , which results in a cascade of copies that eventually overwhelms the ability of the connection to transmit and route the duplicates. The term originates from the Walt Disney animated feature Fantasia where the Sorcerer's Apprentice (Mickey Mouse in the red robes and wizard hat) accidentally causes the mops washing the floor to increase via geometric doubling. One wonders if other MMORPGs are vulnerable to similar attacks.

Re:Sorcerer's Apprentice (2, Interesting)

HiThere (15173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911300)

Walt Disney didn't create the story of the Sorcerer's Apprentice. He didn't even create the broom. All he did was change the apprentice to a mouse and draw it.

And for this he got an eternal copyright on the story. Not legally, but effectively. Nobody else would DARE tell that story now, because they'd be sued.

Patents are bad, but I'm not certain that indefinitely extended copyrights aren't worse.

Re:Sorcerer's Apprentice (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911554)

I did not say that Walt Disney had the original idea for the story, merely that the term was applied to errors in the early ftp protocols because they reminded people of the scene with the same name in the aforementioned film.

One ring... (3, Funny)

kars (100858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911048)

...to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

the real solution is to... (1)

KevlarTheSleepinator (827583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911058)

...find the key of the twilight. those worms can be data-drained right?

Say it ain't so! (3, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911064)

"At 2:46 CST today, the game Second Life was hit by a massive attack by a rogue programmer.

Uh oh, I think SkyNet just became self-aware... of its Second Life account.

Reality Check! (nya!) (1)

ArielMT (757715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911098)

Is this anything like the Puffy Cat Virus?

WoW (1)

breakitdown (816727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911158)

Now we just need something like this to happen to WoW.

Playing Doctor. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16911166)

"Apparently, most people are willing to touch an object they've never seen before"

You should be so lucky.

Matrix Revolutions? (1)

pureCaffeine (1029554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911192)

When I read this I immediately thought Matrix Revolutions where Agent Smith sticks his hand into people to infect them with the computer virus; you gotta admit - it's similar; triggering actions through "physical" actions in a virtual environment ... interesting.

I tried Second Life for the first time last week; gave up after 5 minutes - average ping of 9000 ms.

Well it is second life (1)

doctor proteus (1028902) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911370)

What do you expect it is a faithful recreation of the world we live in. Next you'll by catching typhoid and watch people taking rice stools. In fact thinking about it, so you think the developers have a god mode where they can introduce plagues, frogs and such?

Here's a link (1)

mlw4428 (1029576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911404)

To what appears to be a screenshot of the worm. Description seems to match... If the site goes down I'll put it up on an image sharing site.

Same old same old (1)

Webb21 (460713) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911482)

This sort of thing happens all the time in Second Life. Why is this news?

Ah but the big question is... (4, Funny)

Qoroite (637807) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911488)

If you get 100 rings do you turn into Super-Sonic? ^_^

dumbest slashdot story ever (2, Informative)

pmonje (588285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16911636)

Did anyone read this before posting it? the figure of 600,000 was pulled out sof someones butt. I have never seen more than 25,000 people on SL. It's certainly not the largest denial of service in the game, in fact script attacks like this happen almost weekly in SL and always involve cutting off new log ins. I've never heard them use the term martial law and the supposedly new term grey goo has been used for months and months in realtion to these self replicating object attacks. The in-game scripting makes this sort of attack childs play. This attack is barely news even within SL. Even a cursory glance at the page linked will tell you all of this, but apparently not even the posters read their own links now. I think I'll start submitting random weather reports to slashdot, I'm sure some of them will slip through slashdots crack staff and be posted.

on a related note, why can't we moderate stories as "-1 posted by an idiot"?

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