putko writes | more than 8 years ago
Things are going nuts in Second Life. This is a game where people can own land, do adult things and create objects for sale. The game currency is freely convertible into real money, so people develop land, charge admission fees for clubs and so on -- this is a real economy.
A group of technically sophisticated trolls, the W-Hats, from Something Awful unleased a doomsday device (a few times) on the virtual world, ruining the experience for everyone. It was essentially a fork-bomb, which overwhelmed the servers of the game, Now the proprietors of the game are talking "FBI". This is covered here.
A previous hack, by the same folks, involved hacking a client so that they could violate the protection scheme of the game, stealing the source code of valuable in-game objects/businesses.
The interesting thing about the responsible trolls is that they've combined technical skills with anti-social behavior multiple times -- the doomsday device is just their latest. Previous "offenses" have included: Building offensive structures[NSFW!!], extorting money from neighbors, or mocking the 9/11 attack on the WTC.
So this is a virtual world where trolling and hacking have financial consequences -- not just for the proprietor of the world, but the players, whose "virtual property" can lose or gain value based on the actions of trolls.