The last few days have seen some mysterious goings-on around RedZone.
- A video emerged that purportedly showed someone closely associated with RedZone taking to his girl friend / another user and boasting about how he was attempting to scam the user names and passwords of RedZone users to see if they could be used to access SL accounts
- This video was posted on YouTube some seven months ago, but was only pointed to (apparently anonymously) this week
- The video was linked to a number of other videos that appear to have come from the creator of RedZone and a group of friends – channels subscribing to them included “Insanity Productions”, the “company” behind RedZone
- Attempts to track the links between videos, etc., were countered by attempts to hide them / take them down from YouTube – almost as if someone were attempting to cover their tracks
- Denials and counter-claims were put out by the “RedZone Camp”, citing, among other things, that YouTube anf Google themselves had been hacked, that the video was a fake, and that the timestamp on it had been altered
- zFire Xue then threw down a public challenge for someone to attempt to hack his computer.
It appears someone did. Some of us were on the epic SLU thread when his system went down – keeping us going for hours in speculation. Today, all became clear when the Alphaville Herald published a confirmation. And it appears some 1.6 million individual IP addresses are held in the database, complete with geolocation tools for pinning them down – pretty much as claimed in the video that surfaced earlier in the week.
And it appears that his activities are not limited to RedZone users; screen shots hint that he may well have been acting against users of his Prim Animation tool as well.
Already the news is spreading – and it is hard to see how “zFire” and his cohorts can wriggle free of this.
The evidence might be faked – but if so, it is rather elaborate, and one might suggest Occam’s Razor be applied to any explanations that try to explain this leak away via convoluted logic.
Certainly, this would not suggest that Linden Lab may well need to take a closer look at precisely what is going on around data harvesting, as information such as this going into the public domain is not going to do the reputation of Second Life – of Linden Lab – a lot of good.
Back when I first commented on RedZone, I asked the users of that system a question:
“I’d also like to address any potential user of RedZone on the matter of the tool they are using: if RedZone’s creators are collating information on SL users based on a scripted device you are deploying on your land – how much moreinformation might they be gathering on you each and every time you log into their website?”
Well, it looks like we all have the answer.