Second Life Multi-Factor Authentication: the what and how

via Linden Lab

Linden Lab has announced the initial introduction of Multi-Factor Authentication for Second Life accounts, and has done so in request to numerous requests for increased account security from users to protect personal data.

Traditional user name and password requirements (referred to as single factor authentication) have long be regarded as vulnerable to hacking – up to and including “long” passwords involving alpha-numeric combinations, as the recent publishing by hackers of a 100GB text file of 8.4 billion passwords demonstrated. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) adds an additional layer of protection when accessing personal or protected information on-line, and does so by using a combination of elements.

Rather than relying just on something you know (your user name and password), MFA requires a combination of something you know, together with at least one of something you have (such as a electronic token /device capable of generating such a token, something inherent to you (e.g. a fingerprint, your voice, etc), or where you are (e.g. using a specific network connection or via GPS location).

Of these, Linden Lab is implementing MFA based on something you know – your user name and password – and something you have, in this case an authentication token in the form of (preferably) a 6-digit code that can be generated via a user’s smartphone or tablet from a unique QR code from Linden Lab.

With the introduction of MFA, it is important to stress – as noted in the official documentation – that:

  • It is entirely opt-in: you decide if you want to use it or not.
  • It is currently only being applied to the sensitive account information accessed via Account drop-down menu on the left of your Second Life dashboard (so the options relating to account password change, payment method change, transaction information, e-mail settings, etc.).
    • It does not currently impact or change how you log-in to Second Life using any viewer / client.
    • It will be extended across further Second Life web properties (e.g. the Marketplace, etc), in time, and eventually to the viewer as well.
  • Information and initial instructions for setting-up MFA can be found here.
  • Even with MFA enabled, you should still routinely change your Second Life password, using strong and unique options in accordance with best practice.

Setting-Up MFA

Setting-Up MFA is actually relatively straight-forward, and is carried out from your account dashboard via Account → Multi-Factor Authentication.

Selecting this option will display an initial page outlining the process, together with a Get Started button at the bottom.

Accessing the MFA set-up page, and the QR Code / set-up key page (see below)

To complete the process, proceed as follows:

  1. Install a suitable MFA app on a device with a camera (if using the QR code approach). I opted to use Google Authenticator.
  2. Read the introduction notes via Account → Multi-Factor Authentication (above left) and click the Get Started button.
  3. A page will be displayed on your screen with the QR code and set-up key.
    • If you are using the set-up key, make a note of it and skip to step 6.
  4. Launch your authenticator app and select the option to scan a QR code, then:
    • Point the camera to the QR code on your screen so it is centred within the frame / cross hairs.
    • When positioned correctly, the  authenticator app should automatically capture an image of the QR code (or if a button is available to tap, tap that.
  5. The app will update to show a page that displays your Second Life account name and a 6-digit account token (2 groups of 3 numbers separated by a space).
    • Note this code will update every 30 seconds.
  6. Click Continue on the MFA set-up page. It will update to prompt you to enter two tokens into two fields on the page (see below).
    • If you are using the 6-digit token generated by the QR code, type the displayed code (including the space) into the first field.
    • Wait for the display yo update with a new 6-digit token, then enter the second code into the second token field.
    • If you are using the set-up key, enter this into each field.
  7. Click Activate MFA.
  8. Providing you have done everything correctly, you’ll be informed MFA is now successfully active on your account.
Entering the tokens generated by your MFA app: one unique token per field, as generated by the authenticator app. If you are using the set-up key given on the MFA page, enter that.

How it Works

When MFA is active on your account, clicking any option in the Account drop-down menu to which it has been applied will display an MFA Challenge page.

The account options that – at the time of writing – will present the MFA challenge page. Use your MFA app to obtain a 6-digit code

The MFA Challenge page requires you enter one new token, as generated via your MFA app (or use of the set-up key). Just open the app, select your Second Life account (if using MFA on more than one account – if you are using MFA on just a single account, it will be displayed be default), and then enter a fresh 6-digit code as generated by the app.

Removing MFA

As the official documentation notes, you can disable MFA at any time using Account → Multi-Factor Authentication, entering a code from your app, and then click on the Remove MFA button.

Official MFA Links

2021 SUG meeting week #38 summary

Elvion, June 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, September 21st, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary. Note this summary focuses on the key points of the meeting, where there is something to report; the video video should be referred to should full details of the meeting wish to be reviewed.

There is little to report, given the meeting was also another Solstice party.

Server Deployments

At the time of writing, the server deployment thread had not been published.

  • All remaining simhosts were updated to simulator release  563375 on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021, the maintenance release containing changes related to llChar(), llUnsit() and extended internal logging.
  • There are no planned RC deployments during the week.

HTTP-Out Proxy

Monty Linden deployed the new HTTP-out proxies in week #36. It wasn’t entirely glitch-free (but not as bad as the August attempt), with issues occurring in a part of the configuration that didn’t allow for immediate correction. Monty hopes that the lessons learnt with make future deployments smoother.

SL Viewer

  • The Simplified Cache viewer updated to version 6.4.23.562623 on Friday, September 17th (issued Monday, September 20th).

The rest of the pipelines remain as:

  • Release viewer: version version 6.4.22.561752, formerly the CEF Update RC viewer, issued July 24 and promoted August 10.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Maintenance RC viewer version 6.4.23.563789, issued on September 16 – combines the Grappa and Happy Hours RCs.
  • Project viewers:
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.4.23.563579, issued September 3.
    • Performance Floater project viewer, version 6.4.23.562625, issued September 2.
    • Mesh Optimizer project viewer, version 6.4.23.562614, issued September 1.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.

In Brief

  • Some are reporting issues of not being able to easily teleport back to a location previously visited in a session, a similar problems that manifested for some using Malwarebytes. In this case, the issue seems to be exceptionally slow teleport when trying to go back, with some incidence of the viewer shutting down.

The Art of Portraiture in Second Life

Art Korner: Tiya Aura – The Art of Portraiture

Currently available at Frank Atisso’s Art Korner is an exhibition of avatar studies by a artist whose work is new to me: Tiya Aura, who presents a series of images under the title The Art of Portraiture, and it is a fascinating collection to view.

Avatar studies are one of – if not the – most popular forms of art and photography produced through Second Life. images take many forms, from straightforward portraiture intended for use within Profiles to complex posed pieces, often with an backdrop of some form and intended to reflect a theme (generally the title of the piece) and / or tell a single-frame story. Sill others focus on the avatar itself, tightly-focused and intended (again) to convey a narrative and / or emotional content, and so on.

Within The Art of Portraiture, Tiya very much focuses on that category of studies intended to convey emotion, offering 21 images of her own avatar and those of her friends (some subjects featured in more than one image), split between the two display spaces within the skybox gallery. Some of the images are captured in the “traditional” style of a portrait image, with the subject looking directly at the camera or in profile. Others are offset in both cropping and angle, suggesting a sudden moment caught by chance. Throughout all of them there is a deep of character.

Art Korner: Tiya Aura – The Art of Portraiture

These are images that not only capture an emotional element, many offer insight into the nature of the subject within the image, and by extension, the persona behind it. This is perhaps more evident within Tiya’s self-portraits, but is also very notable in several of the other pieces as well. Thus, this is a collection where the life – the humanness – of the avatar subjects is prevalent, and with a depth that suggests it was as much captured within the raw image as brought to the fore by considered and practiced post-processing that more than demonstrates Tiya’s artistry with digital tools.

In terms of post-processing, lighting and contrast are perhaps the most powerful tools Tiya uses to complete her work. Several of the pieces utilise lighting overlays and effects to help bright forth the emotional content, either by framing the subject so as to cast illumination around but perhaps not directly on the face, or by providing a seen, a projection of light and softer colours we must look through. Both approaches are utterly effective, as they causes one to focus in on the subject, to study eye, expression, direction of gaze, tilt of head, and thus become drawn into the sentiment Tiya saw when creating each piece.

In this the pictures within The Art of Portraiture not only offer a richness of emotion within the study of an avatar or present a glimpse of the persona projected by an avatar’s looks, they provide a subtle insight into the artist herself and how she responded to these images as she post-processed them.

Art Korner: Tiya Aura – The Art of Portraiture

Rich in form, colour, content and presentation, The Art of Portraiture is a genuinely bewitching collection of images; one that is offered – as is becoming increasingly popular within SL art circles – for sale on the basis of “pay as you feel” – the buyer set the amount they wish to pay for a given piece, rather than the artist setting the price.

SLurl Details

Stories, music and poetry with Seanchai Library

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home in Nowhereville, unless otherwise indicated. Note that the schedule below may be subject to change during the week, please refer to the Seanchai Library website for the latest information through the week.

Monday, September 20th 19:00: The Weigher

A world dominated by sentiment big cats where the rule of law is enforced by the Weighers, a combination of judge, peacemaker and accountant through a brutal code of honour and combat. Without their violent intervention in things, all-out war and anarchy would ensue.

When two human explorers – fragile, weak and potentially easy prey – arrive on that world, Slasher, a Weigher of skill and talent in physical combat, finds herself defending them. In doing so, she finds herself a disgraced outcast.

Join Gyro Muggins as he resumes the story by Eric Vinicoff and Marcia Martin.

Tuesday, September 21st

12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym

With music, and poetry in Ceiluradh Glen.

19:00: Nightbird

Twig lives in Sidwell, where people whisper that fairy tales are real. After all, her town is rumoured to hide a monster. And two hundred years ago, a witch placed a curse on Twig’s family that was meant to last forever. But this summer, everything will change when the red moon rises. It’s time to break the spell.

Willow Moonfire read’s Alice Hoffman’s novel.

Wednesday, September 22nd, 19:00 Autumn in Music and Poetry

With Caledonia Skytower and Ktadhn Vesuvino in Ceiluradh Glen.

Thursday, September 23rd

19:00: Selections from Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters

With Caledonia Skytower.

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

Contemporary science fiction and fantasy with Finn Zeddmore.

2021 viewer release summaries week #37

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates from the week ending Sunday, September 19th

This summary is generally published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Release viewer: version 6.4.21.561752, formerly the CEF update viewer, dated July 24th, promoted August 10th – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Maintenance RC viewer version 6.4.23.563789, issued on September 16th – combines the Grappa and Happy Hours RCs.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Wo Qui Non Coin in Second Life

Wo Qui Non Coin, September 2021 – click any image for full size

Shawn Shakespeare recently passed on a landmark to me for a Homestead region design by Maasya entitled Wo Qui Non Coin. Given my interest in the orient (and parts of Asia!), the region’s About Land description – simply “Japan” – had me intrigued enough to hop over and take a look to get a start to the week – although admittedly, I was already curious about the name given to the setting.

While I’m very far from an expert in should matters, I gather the name Wo Qui Non Coin belongs to song from Cowboy Bebop, and animated Japanese franchise covering television, movies and assorted media cantered on the adventures of a gang of bounty hunters in space. In particular, the song is sung by Radical Edward (aka Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivruski IV as she likes to call herself), originally from Earth and who hacked her way aboard the show’s titular spaceship, the Bebop.

Whether or not the setting is designed as a reflection of the song or Edward’s earthbound origins or because Maasya is a fan of the series or simply likes the term, I have no idea – but the name is certainly catches one’s attention!

Wo Qui Non Coin, September 2021

Although it sits within its own Homestead region, the setting actually takes up perhaps half of the available landmass, forming a central island separated from a surrounding ring of off-region mountains by water. Caught under a default night-time sky, the island forms a long finger pointing west to east, with the landing point – although not enforced – sitting at the western end.

Two routes across the island extend outwards from the landing point. The first runs pretty much due east along a busy street lit by lamps and signs; the second arcs around the northern coast, a paved footpath that follows the line of the land under lights that float in the air like drifting pollen, its waterside edge marked by vertical light posts formed from hollow bamboo.

Wo Qui Non Coin, September 2021

The latter ends in a small shrine – although reaching it to light incense might need a little care, as a small field of katana has been planets on the path and just to either side of it, and a couple of stone cats look like they might make an objection or two should you try to move the blades!

The path though the rows of shops and businesses, however, has no such obstacle blocking it as it proceeds eastward, lit by more of the bamboo posts as well as the lanterns strung overhead and the neon signs on walls and over doorways. Most of the buildings are simple façades, but they do carry a sense of place: seats stand or are folded outside of some, suggesting that when business is slack during the day, the owners might take to sitting outdoors. Others remain tightly shuttered or gated – which is not surprising, given the setting is caught under a night-time sky, suggesting business hours are over for the day.

Wo Qui Non Coin, September 2021

Towards the eastern end of the street the path rises by way of steps to pass between two businesses one might reasonably expect to be open at night. The first of these is a small open-air bar which faces the, second, the local cinema. Going by the posters outside and the wording on the awning over the entrance, the latter is showing a series of films showcasing action movie stars, although the most notable film on offer (or at least featured on a poster) is 1983’s Blow the Night! (more fully: Blow the Night! Let’s Spend the Night Together), a docu-drama exploring the youth street gang culture of Japan in the late 1970s / early 1980s.

Beyond the bar and cinema, further steps lead up to a walled garden, the way barred by a gate (touch the left side to slide it open).  The garden is caught in the colours of autumn (colours that can be found beyond the garden walls as well), the ground carpeted in fallen leaves. A small, lightly-furnished house sits within this garden to offer a reasonably comfortable living space, although the cats in residence might have a say in where you sit and what you do when visiting :). Behind the house, the garden drops quickly to a small beach.

Wo Qui Non Coin, September 2021

The island is a cosy, inviting setting that encourages exploration, and while it is by default sitting under a night sky, it does allow itself to be imaged under different environment settings – as I hope one of the images here shows. There is also a a local sound scape, but it is not the usual sounds of birds, waves and the like. Rather, it is a low hum mixed with a repeatedly whistling sound that fades in and out of hearing. It’s an unnatural sound that sits at odds with the rest of the setting. Whether it is intended to represent power humming along the overhead power lines or give a sense of alienness to the setting (or indeed has something to do with Cowboy Bebop, I’ve no idea; what I will say is that for me, it was the one distraction in a setting I enjoyed visiting – but one easily solved by turning off local sounds, and not something that should deter a visit.

SLurl Details