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[Emerald] 1626 Release Candidate

In recent weeks, there has been an ever increasing level of hysteria deliberately generated to instill worry and concern into the day to day lives of SL residents. This has involved a concerted effort to confuse the various applications undergoing development, namely the Emerald viewer and Modular Systems projects.

The purposes for this seething hysteria have also been deliberately clouded, however it is my conclusion that all purposes lead to only one eventuality, namely clearing the decks once again for open slather on content theft. You see, Modular Systems is in the process of developing and testing a tool capabale of identifying stolen content – to combat rampant theft and prevent the wholesale copying of creations that has gone on for such a long time. So, to quote directly from Modular Systems:

There has been confusion and questions recently about a new initiative some of us are taking part in, that is, the appearance of bots named “Onyx” with the ModularSystems last name.
We’ve been silent up until now about these bots, their function, and our goals, because they are still in the development and beta testing stages; however with the flurry of misinformation circulating, we feel it is important to explain what they are for.
The purpose of these “OnyxBots” as people like to call them is to identify stolen content much in the same way that users do via the inspect tool. When stolen content is spotted, the time and location, as well an identifier for the content is stored. These are then provided to the content creator who’s work has been copied by email or through a convenient web interface.
If no stolen content is identified, absolutely no information is stored. These bots do not record any avatar information, except the avatar key if the copied content in question happens to be an attachment.
To clarify some important points:
* The bots would only be comparing content to items that had already been opted in by their creators.
* In the event of a detection the creator is notified.
* If content was somehow incorrectly detected it would be obvious to the creator who submitted it.
* To reiterate: contrary to some rumors, there would not be any ban lists at all, much less global ones.
Should you need to contact someone regarding the Onyx project, the three avatars below are in-world points of contact:

Fractured Crystal
Phox ModularSystems
Skills Hak
Do not contact any other Emerald developers about the bots or any other portion of the Onyx project, as they will likely be unable to answer your questions. All inquiries should be directed at the three avatars above or to onyx@modularsystems.sl

There has also been a series of discussions in forums and blogs, again making wild accusations as to the capabilities, history and intentions of various projects linked to both Modular Systems and Emerald. Quoting again from the Modular Systems website:
“This post is to address recent blog posts and articles that have appeared concerning the illegal theft and subsequent leak of a database containing some information about Second Life users.

In early April, our web server was compromised by a (now banned) malicious viewer developer and several of our server’s databases were stolen. The server in question has been secured and the data loss was for the most part not important. However, there was one database that contained information that these malicious individuals felt it was necessary to distribute, despite privacy concerns.

“Datamine” (named such in humor) was a database that was initially created to correlate the IP addresses of visitors to the Emerald Point simulator after several instances of chain-alt griefing.

These correlations were created through the use of the standard land media functionality in any viewer. The database allowed administrators to quickly determine if a new account was an alt account of a griefer that had previously attacked the sim.

This was originally conceived as a prototype to a now defunct system named ModLink; this system would have allowed Estate Owners greater flexibility in dealing with repeat griefers, most importantly by allowing them to IP ban offenders.

After it was demonstrated that this was a effective solution to the problem, several nodes were placed in a few other sims at the request of the owner during a short beta testing period. These nodes were eventually removed, with the last node in Emerald Point removed over a month ago and the database deleted entirely.

This situation was the result of a failure on our part to take into consideration that there are really malicious individuals out there, and while the fault is on them for the distribution of semi-sensitive information about other residents without taking into account the effect it could have on those people, the fault is also on us for allowing our security to be compromised.

To clarify: All of the data gathered was acquired through the use of land media, there is no relation whatsoever to the Emerald Viewer. Passwords are never sent to our server, they go directly to Linden Lab, and therefore there is no chance that any user passwords could have been compromised.

To reiterate:
The database contained only avatar names, IPs, UUIDs, and timestamps
The data was recorded through land media in Emerald Point etc and on our registration portal.
The database and associated nodes were removed in April.
This system was specific to the sim management by our server’s owner and was not related to Emerald, Onyx, or any other project.
This system was created and maintained by a single person.
Our copy of the database has been deleted; we unfortunately have no control over the leaked copies, the data was illegally stolen and is being distributed by malicious individuals.”

Please, read this at the source here before believing sensationalised articles put about by dunderheaded buffoons.

Or, all You Wanted To Know About Malicious Viewers

The Onyx Project exists to educate those people who care to know, of known malicious third party viewers that either have been, or are being used on a daily basis within the Secondlife environment. I am a firm believer in sharing knowledge – it is up to you the reader to determine what you can do with it. Please be aware that when these viewers are detected in world, the users are banned by CDS owners and often finish up with accounts terminated by Lindenlab. Please do not use this list as a reference to ‘try out’ a malicious viewer – this is not the intention of this post.

To this end, a comprehensive list has been compiled to show you the commonly used name of these viewers and their various capabilities. To quote the project developers:

Various recent events have stirred up yet another storm of misinformation and rumor about certain third party viewers; this has once again brought to light the fact that most people know little about most of the harmful viewers in circulation; the viewers that violate licensing agreements to stay closed source, the ones equipped with content theft tools and weapons designed to intentionally crash other viewers and sims, or otherwise ruin Second Life for others. These viewers generally remain private, closely guarded and shared either with close friends or for a significant fee, the reason being that exploits are quickly identified and neutralized when released in a public manner.
The result of this is that nobody can be sure of the capabilities of these viewers, information posted on blogs and forums is woefully inaccurate at the best of times, and even more often misinformation spread by those who want the public to remain in the dark. We spent a long time discussing this, and we’ve come to the conclusion that sharing the information that we’ve gathered and independently confirmed about these viewers is the right decision, as it will give people the answers they need to make informed decisions on how to protect their content.
This is why we have chosen to make public the Onyx project here at Modular Systems.

Further reading can be found at Modular Systems

or go directly to The List . I suggest you bookmark it to check back on updates.

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