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There’s some talk and images circulating at the moment about the possibility that members of the Emerald developer viewer team may have gained administrative access to Second Life’s Vivox voice system through an exploit.

The best place to start looking at that talk would be over at the Alphaville Herald.

Here’s what the Lab had to say about it:

In April of this year, there was an instance of developers gaining access to limited administrative controls. Those controls did not include the capability to eavesdrop on any conversations in Second Life, but they did allow the users to disable a Resident’s voice functionality. We noticed this activity as it happened, and took action to address it with those involved the following day.

The screenshot published on blogs today is unrelated to this issue and shows a control panel accessed in a separate incident in July of this year. Employing a different exploit, users were able to login to the Vivox site, but they did not have administrative-level controls and certainly were not able to eavesdrop on any conversations in Second Life. As with the April event, the issue was resolved the following day.

So, the short version is, as I understand it:

  • It’s possible that Hazim Gazov was blocked from Second Life voice chat for a day in April (as the Herald describes), as a temporary exploit allowed users to briefly disable voice access for a given user.
  • There was a second exploit-and-access in July, but the exploiter(s) were unable to effect any changes, block users or access audio data. This was also fixed in one day.
  • At no time did the system allow the exploiter(s) to listen into any voice chat that they would not have ordinarily had access to.

Nevertheless, Emerald viewer related news just seems to keep getting weirder, doesn’t it?

Got a news tip or a press-release? Send it to [email protected].
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