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Security Breach Complicates Second Life

Users of the popular online game Second Life have received a bit of a shock: the game’s creator, Linden Lab, has requested all the game’s players change their passwords following a security breach in which an attacker may have gotten away with players’ names, addresses, passwords, and encrypted credit card information.

According to Linden Lab, the exploit was discovered on September 6, and was shut down immediately; the company says no unencrypted credit card information was compromised and it is asking all users to change their passwords as a precaution.

Second Life is an online world in which players basically live out an alternative life of their choosing: users create their own avatars, then can try all sorts of things they may never have a chance to do in the real world, like throw parties, try extreme sports, buy and sell land and merchandise, and attend special events. Notoriety about the game has increased in recent months as real-life stores like American Apparel have begun opening online shops within the game (in which players can purchase virtual goods), and real-life bands like Duran Duran have begun staging online concerts within the game.