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Jun 092011
 
 
Editorial by Vagabond ‘Tony’ Carter

We’ve all seen them… rezzing replicators, spamming regions with obscenities, flooding your screen with whimsical to pornographic images and sounds. Crashing sims and viewers for fun, and with countless other attacks they claim it’s ‘just a game‘ and “we do it for the lulz” – even using illegal computer programs to steal from legitimate real life (RL) businesses, and harass residents in-world.  Some going so far as to track down a resident’s real life information and make harassing or threatening phone calls, and in very rare cases a few have traveled miles to mock their victims at their doorstep with veiled or direct threats. Who are these people and what motivates them? While the term is used in nearly all multiplayer online games,  in Linden Lab’s Second Life and other MMO’s we call them Griefers.

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May 242011
 

 

Infamous “W-Hat” Group In Disarray, Closing Down

Krypton Radio Staff

W-Hat Logo

Masakazu Kojima (Masa), known within the virtual world of Second Life as leader of the controversial and at times infamous W-Hat group, has announced via the W-Hat website that his account had been permanently banned from the SL service by Linden Lab.  The online service cites “severe or repeated violations of the Terms of Service” but in their email to Masakazu did not detail what those violations were.

W-Hat was originally created in Second Life in 2004 for members of the forums at the popular Something Awful web site.  W-Hat members referred to themselves as “goons”, or “SA goons”.  They were well known for their general interest in that which others find offensive, and the group attracted wide range of people, from the merely curious to some of the worst griefers Second Life has ever known. Members of W-Hat have created hacked clients, committed content theft, and even created sim crashing weapons.  The sim crashers used by the Patriotic Nigras were based on the original ones created by W-Hat.

However, the FAQ page on the W-Hat web site states that none of these things are condoned or are the official policy of W-Hat, and that people who engaged in this activity were removed from the group whenever they were discovered.

The infamous Voted 5 group was comprised primarily of former W-Hat members who were invited to leave because their activities cast W-Hat in a bad light and put the group at risk.  Plastic Duck, the creator of both the first truly effective sim crasher weapon and creator of the first megaprims (distributed via his alternate account, Gene Replacement) was one of these.  Plastic Duck was also responsible for the discovery and correction of a critical bug in the Linden Lab monetary system which could have destroyed the entire economy.  Plastic Duck could have simply exploited the flaw, but instead worked with Linden Lab to identify and correct it before it became a problem.  Plastic Duck lost his account permanently immediately following an interview on a griefer-friendly blog site in February of this year.

Masa’s primary interest seems to have been technical, and while the official W-Hat policy was against griefer and racist activity within the group, this same activity went largely unmoderated, thus leading to W-Hat’s overall unsavory reputation.

In an email interview with Krypton Radio, Masa shared what information she had on the possible circumstances surrounding her banishment and the future of W-Hat:

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May 112011
 
an Editorial by: Vagabond 'Tony' Carter

All to often the word “griefer” is used as almost a blanket term for someone you don’t get along with. This I cannot help but feel is in error, far too broad a brush used far too often. So I’d like, if I may , to examine closely the meaning of the word.

Wikipedia defines it as “.. a player in a multiplayer video game that purposely irritates and harasses other players.”
Wiktionary, a cousin of wikipedia, has this to say ” griefer – One who griefs: a player who plays a game primarily to reduce other players’ enjoyment of it.”

Second Life requires a bit of a refinement here. SL is not a game by definition, but is rather more akin to a platform in which, among other things, games are played. Second Life has clearly stated Terms of Service and Community Standards agreements which further clarifies matters. Applying this logic we arrive at the hybridized definition of:

“Griefer, one who habitually, intentionally, and maliciously acts to disrupt the usability and enjoyability of the virtual world for other users or residents, these acts are usually in direct contravention of ToS/CS agreements as historically and currently enforced by Linden Labs.”

This statement provides a good litmus test for whether or not the term griefer should apply in a given situation, so it is quite important to be accurate when applying the term.

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Apr 162011
 

An Investigative Report

by Vagabond "Tony" Carter

Shortly after my exclusive on Stark Reality Exclusive: The Wrong Hands-Spies on you, Tux Winkler posted a lengthy response on his public blog. In which he makes several accusations generally trying to play himself off as a victim. Keep in mind that we at Krypton Radio are not interested in getting into a blog-war with anyone, however in the interests of truth and public safety it is our responsibility to keep you the public informed on matters such as this. What started out as Tux Winkler and his group simply trying to stalk and harass the Justice League, turned into him stalking private residents with no connection whatsoever to the JLU or any Peacekeeper group.

Snapshot-_-Superhero-Monitor-Station-Superville-

Tux Winkler's 'base' owned by him displaying "The Wrong Hands" Logo, where he gives out his freebies.

Mr Winkler’s most common assertion is that he is not involved with and never has been involved with “The Wrong Hands”, however an investigation conducted by members of the Justice League Unlimited and Krypton Radio has uncovered a wide array of facts to debunk Winkler’s claims.

As shown in the pictures of Tux Winkler’s base/store, he is indeed a member of The Wrong Hands, even having his land and objects set to that group. It is a known fact that another person can not set another person’s objects to a different group, so this easily refutes his claims.  This parcel which Winkler maintains is where he gives away his freebies in-world, it also serves as a small base for The Wrong Hands. The simple fact of checking Tux Winkler’s in-world profile shows his connection via the use of The Wrong Hands logo, and directions to its main base in the region of Red Square.

Red Square and its connected region of Revolution, are the current home of the Woodbury University refugees previously banned by Linden Lab. And while permanently banned from the use of SL, these individuals have made very public statements antagonizing the lab as if daring them to ban the regions once again, along with the continuing actions of Winkler which serve to increase the exposure of the Woodbury University’s illegal return to Second Life.

Screenshot of Tux Winkler's tracker page

Screen-grab from Tux Winkler's tracking page, now hidden from the public.In this screen-grab of the tracking page from Winkler's website, we see the long list of people who never consented to their in-world locations or login times being posted for the public to see. Winkler may have violated Section 8.3 of the Linden Lab Terms of Service forbidding the use of Trojan Horse programs in recording this information. Note that many of the detections in this screengrab list the location as Red Square, a closed region. This is because when location data was unavailable, Winkler had to resort to a simple online status monitor which reported its location as being on that region. His logging system was unable to differentiate between field sensors and his stationary online status monitoring device.

 

 

Tux Winkler had several accomplices assisting him in placing spy prims in various locations around the grid, without the permission or knowledge of victim landowners. Ryokashi Revestel is shown here as owner in these screenshots, and was one of the more prolific. Winkler appears to have caved to public pressure to remove or deactivate the tracking page to which these devices and his Trojan horse freebies streamed information.

The function of the trojan horse scripts in Winkler’s devices (all named “”#.- DO NOT DELETE THIS -.#””) was verified by independent testing.  When the scripts were removed from the freebies, the tracking page no longer updated with avatar tracking information for the current location, yet the freebies continued to operate unaffected by the removal of the script otherwise.

In the case of the spy prims hidden in various estates as stationary probes, in each case when the device was removed, the tracking page stopped updating for that location.

It is important to note that Trojan Horse scripts are in clear violation of the Linden Lab Terms of Service and are expressly addressed by the Community Standards. Also, there is no way of knowing what other “features” his spy devices have; remote chat logging is certainly possible with such a device.

The three major claims made by Mr Winkler in his defense:

  1. Winkler denies association with The groups calling themselves “Woodbury” and “The Wrong Hands”: Proven false
  2. Winkler claims that the “#.- DO NOT DELETE THIS -.#” Scripts are merely product support / updaters. : Proven false
  3. Winkler claims that he did not employ spy prims, either on public or on private lands. : Proven false

While not unexpected, continuing in his counter claims against the JLU and its free networked security system known as The Phantom Zone, asserting that it uses IP detection and geolocation. It does none of these things. Readers are cautioned that Winkler does not speak for the League and to refer instead to the About page here on the Krypton Radio web site for further information about this system.

Winkler had been using the tracking page in attempts to blackmail some of the people listed on it into handing over chat logs or other information about, or from, the League. The individuals approached have turned over logs of the attempted blackmail by Winkler and this information has been forwarded to Linden Lab. These logs will not be printed out of respect for the privacy of the individuals who do not wish to be named or contacted by the public.

Residents are advised to delete any objects in their inventory created by Tux Winkler as a safety precaution, or if you desire to keep the object or item, remove the script called “”#.- DO NOT DELETE THIS -.#” to disable the trojan horse functionality.

In this day and age of armchair bloggers and forum flame wars it’s easy to lose sight of the facts. The facts here support the charges against Tux Winkler and The Wrong Hands for stalking, harassment and defamation. I know some people are rolling their eyes at this, looking at it as some grudge match between two groups. However, Tux Winkler has decided to drag innocent people into this and make it public, so before anyone tries to convince you of anything ask for the facts.. Ask your own questions and don’t listen to the rhetoric, judge the situation solely on the facts.

 

Update:

The land at the Superville region, once home to Tux Winkler’s trojan horse spyware, went up for sale sometime in the latter portion of May of 2011. The precise reason for the decision to sell is not known, but the usual motivations of economy and financial strain are the most likely cause.

Additional pictures:

Script inside

Same prim, inspecting it shows Tux Winkler as the creator of the prim and the script.

Oxbridge Villag, Caledon Oxbridge V2

One of Tux's creations, a spy prim placed on open land, verified by the fact that on returning it, the Tracker stopped updating for this location

Tux Base prim

Note the owner and Group this prim is set to...

 

This image, taken just hours after the initial publication of this article clearly shows Tux Winkler wearing a Soviet Woodbury logo belt buckle. This puts to rest any doubts that he has ties to Woodbury.

Tux Winkler's "The Wrong Hands" LinkedIn Page, which puts to rest any doubt that Winkler considers himself in charge of The Wrong Hands, proclaiming himself to be CEO of "TWH Ltd.". The page has since been deleted. He had posted his city of residence on the page, but this has been redacted to protect his safety and that of his family.

 

 

 

Nov 122010
 

Anarchists Attack, Civilization Strikes Back

by Paladin Proto

Over the past two months, a group calling itself “Anonymous,” with links to the 4chan Web forum and image board, has launched distributed denial-of-service attacks against Web sites operated by the Motion Picture Association of America, The Recording Industry Association (RIAA), Hustler magazine, rocker Gene Simmons, The British Phonographic Industry, and other similar groups in France, Australia, Spain and elsewhere.

The “4Chan” image chat board  web site has cropped up in the news at CNET.COM repeatedly.  On September 28, an internet gang called “Anonymous” known to frequent the  4Chan board is believed to have hacked into a server and compromised a database belonging to ACS Law, a law firm in Great Britain that tracks down illegal file sharers for the pornography industry.

While one of the 4chan group’s most recent attacks came last week against the Copyright Office, it is believed that the FBI began asking questions prior to that, said the source. Since the Copyright Office attack, however, FBI agents have begun working closely with many of the organizations attacked so far.

4chan and Anonymous have even drawn the ire of those who support their cause, because their DDoS-heavy attacks are viewed as counterproductive. In particular, groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU have criticized the tactic, although their rebukes of Anonymous have not gone far enough to satisfy either the RIAA or MPAA.  With federal law enforcement officials now taking a serious look at 4chan and Anonymous, it appears that Gene Simmons’s threat that the attackers “might find their little butts in jail” could actually come about.

It is believed that only a small percentage of the users of the 4Chan board are malicious hackers, the rest being simply users of the web site.  Articles on CNet.com incorrectly identify 4Chan as an organization in its own right, and mischaracterize the relationship between 4Chan and “Anonymous”. The 4Chan board was also the birthplace of the now-dead Second Life raiding group, “The Patriotic Nigras”, with most of its founding members having met on that board.

If “Anonymous” is trying to send a message, it’s far from a clear one.  In 2008 and 2009, they attacked the Scientology web site.  This year, they’re going after web sites having to do with the protection of intellectual property rights.  They’re not only attacking unpopular organizations like the Recording Industry Association of America, last week they attacked the copyright office itself.  They don’t appear to be fighting for justice as many claim.  With this latest attack, they seem to be attacking copyrights in general.

Just last week, a 23-year-old student named Mitchell L. Frost, a 4Chan user identified as part of the “Anonymous” online gang, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for DDoSing the websites of conservative figures including Bill O’Reilly, Rudy Giuliani, and Ann Coulter between August of 2006 and March of 2007.  It should be remembered, however, that “Anonymous” is not a structured organization but a loose coalition of individuals having varying levels of participation.  Bringing members of “Anonymous” to justice is complicated by the fact that anyone may claim to be a member simply to boost their own reputation in internet chat forums.

With law enforcement now actively engaged in the pursuit of 4Chan and Anonymous hackers, Anonymous has announced that they will be “scaling back” their activities.

Links

Update: November 14, 2010

In a bizarre twist, 4Chan.org and Tumblr.com are exchanging DDoS attacks.  4Chan.org was down for a approximately an hour starting at 2:40PM PST, and Tumblr.com went down an hour after that.  Calls to arms encouraging members to participate in violation of federal laws against internet hacking were posted by the 4Chan.org site.  The Tumblr response was to counter-attack with a DDoS attack of their own, and then flood 4Chan with pictures of cute fluffy kittens.

Any claims of so-called public dissident “hacktivism” are effectively drowned out by simple self-centered brinkmanship.  The 4Channers and Tumblr are fighting a low-brow turf war, while the FBI gathers evidence they need against both groups.

Second Life trolling and griefing groups having deeply rooted links to 4Chan may be rethinking their entire reason for existing at this point.  One thing is certain: the /b/ world is coming apart at the seams.

Links

May 172010
 

kryptonspecialreport

Woodbury University Hacker(s) Claim Responsibility

by Paladin Proto

Sometime in mid-April, the web site belonging to Modular Systems was hacked. Modular Systems is the creator of “Emerald”, the immensely popular third party client for Second Life.  Exposed was the inner workings of a prototype system undergoing limited tests within Second Life.  The tests appear to have taken place primarily on a region known as Emerald Point, a region operated by one of the members of the Modular Systems development team known in-game as Fractured Crystal.

The now-discontinued project compromised was called “ModLink”, and was being developed to ban griefers based on their IP addresses.  ModLink was very similar to other currently existing systems that work the same way,  TheBoris Gothly’s “RedZone” being one such system.

The database stolen did not contain passwords or other identifying information other than IP addresses (and a correlation of which accounts were being used from the same IP addresses, identifying probable alts), so the most part security threat to the general public  is considered minimal at best.

No real life information belonging to any of the users of the famed Emerald client was exposed, apart from an identification of some people’s alternate accounts. In their public response, Modular Systems recommends changing passwords anyway as a precautionary measure.

The griefer gang “Woodbury University”, now banned from Second Life, have claimed responsibility for the break-in.

Evidence of the hacking operation was posted on May 11, 2010, on a Second Life-specific blog called “The AlphaVille Herald”, known for its heavily anarchist and anti-establishment bias. A very busy stream of comments followed the article, and  a subsequent discussion appeared in SLUniverse. The information was apparently gained by actively hacking the Modular Systems web site and extracting a password from a poorly protected PHP file owned by Fractured Crystal.

The attack may have been in response to growing public unrest regarding the allegedly shady past of some of the participants in the Modular Systems development team, specifically and chiefly that of Fractured Crystal himself.  Crystal is a self-admitted former griefer, and now writes security systems and tests exploits for Linden Lab as a representative of Modular Systems.  However, the attack may also have been spurred by personal conflicts between Crystal  and various members of the Woodbury University griefer gang, since the attackers also purportedly hacked into Fractured Crystal’s Second Life account and rummaged through his inventory.

Modular Systems had released their own statement the same day, stating that while the materials stolen were a private project and not operated by Modular Systems, but that because the site had been compromised, they were recommending that everyone using their service change their passwords and that they had taken steps to ensure the security of the site moving forward.  They also took the opportunity to state that Emerald viewers do not store or forward login credentials to Modular Systems.

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