Thursday, July 26, 2012

Virus Alert? Please read twice!

These days, a new hoax is doing the rounds. You probably have received a message coming from someone in your contact list, or from the group chats you belong to, along the following lines:'s the scoop from the horses mouth. DO NOT accept the ExDepart gift package 2012. If you rez it out, you don't see anything, but it rezzes at 4000 meters and proceeds to send copies of itself to your friends list. We are dealing with the second one in the estate I'm an admin in.

Even, in Spanish:

Hola a todos!!! Un objeto llamado ExDepart Gift Packege 2012 esta siendo enviado a todas la personas, por favor no lo reciban, es un virus, y les pueden robar la cuenta.porfavor pasenlo a todo el mundo gracias.

(Basically, that message above says that the object is a virus and will steal your account... and fun thing to check, that the claims about what this object can do, are different depending on the person that spreads this bit of misinformation!)

I've had several persons asking me about this, today, so I've considered it was a good idea to write a bit about, and help people to calm down.

First... Anybody receiving a message like the first one, has actually READ that link? It's not certifying that a virus is being spread! No! Quite the contrary!

Let's read the title of such post carefully: "Virus Alert... More Viral Than Virus"

When one reads that post, something should be clear: it's not talking about ANY virus being spread across SL! The post talks about how an unverified hoax about a virus alert is quickly spread... which is the actual viral effect!

So let's read and understand that blog post in the first place. Once you've read it, come back, and let's clarify some more bits.

Virus can't be spread across SL. In general lines, for a virus to access your computer, two things should happen: one, it has to be executed on your machine (so, somehow, downloaded and installed there), two, it has to be compiled for your machine and operating system!

From all the assets in your inventory, SL allows you to save ONLY textures. So, for sure, nothing that could be executed on your machine. But then... SL works under three different operating systems! Chances are, the virus, even if it was possible to be saved from your inventory (which is not possible)... would work only under Windows! (sorry Windows users, you make it easy for virus developers to choose a target.) Linux and Mac users would be safe. But Windows users are safe too... because you can't save anything other than textures from your inventory.

Can this object steal your account? Unless it reads minds as to find where in yours, you've memorized your password, nothing and nobody can't steal your account unless you tell them your password!

Refer to this I wrote time ago about this kind of happenings: Phishing? No thanks!

Can this object steal your money? If it asks you to grant permission debit... and you grant it... well, it could. But you read those huge pop ups and make sure you know the source of the object before granting... Yes?

Please refer to this I wrote time ago about granting permission debit: Granting Permission Debit? Know some facts!

So once again... When you get an alert because the Sky is Falling (TM) and it urges you to warn everybody about the Apocalypse... Read twice, read slowly, and think about what you've just read. Information will be always your safe bet.

Take care all :-)


  1. Thank you for writing a clear, level-headed explanation to this new round of paranoia and gossip. I've included a link to this post on my own blog, hopefully others will find it useful.

  2. It is possible to lose your account by rezzing an object:

    1 - You receive an object from anyone that you no know.
    2 - You rezz the object.
    3 - The object is a global attack.
    4 - Anione send an abuse report.
    5 - You banned.