Hugsies Blog!

March 1, 2012

The legacy of Emerald

Filed under: Gaming!, Second Life Shit!, Viewer Gripes — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 12:06 pm

It’s supprising to see the amount of ignorance that spreads in a virtual world, even years after the fact. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) is what keeps rumors alive, and feeds the fear-mongers that continue to spread these lies. There’s still many many clueless users in Second Life that belive Phoienix is still like Emerald, created by “hax0rz” to steal passwords, L$, and private information, and all sorts of hysterical bullshit.

Friend of mine recently got “hacked” by a spambot in SL, where all it did was just spam “get 2500L 4 free at,,,,” with a URL from .tk domain. It links to a malicious site that apparently infects your machine with a keylogger; which is how her password was stolen in the first place. Fortunately she didn’t lose anything but she’s convinced that Phoenix is to blame because of it’s legacy, and the FUD that continues to spread from ignorant people since the banning of Emerald about two years ago.

I asked her if she even knew WHY Emerald was banned so many years ago, and her reply was “it’s a hacker program, 300 pepole got thier accounts hacked. bla bla bla” which is basied on pure ignorance, and bullshit from others who blew smoke up her ass about what happend with Emerald.

When Emerald was accussed of DoS attacks, most people got upset (I did) and the rumor machine went total apeshit with more claims about keylogging, hacking accounts, and everything under the sun when it comes to malware.  This is what FUD does; smear the facts and exaggerates everything feeding on your Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt so you’ll buy into the bullshit. The only reason why Emerald was banned was because of a lame attempt at a DoS attack.

What is a DoS attack? Basically getting thousands or millions of different PCs on different IP address to access/request connection to another site all at once.  The result is supposed to overload the host server and “deny” access to anyone else who’s trying to legitimately access that server.

Basically what one of the Dev did was changed the login screen that appears when you launch Emerald viewer, which is just a webpage no code changed on the end user client software it self. The page loaded hidden frames that connected to someone’s blog on the web. Apparently this blog was of another TPV developer, and it was an attempt to jack up the hit count as a prank, and to show how popular Emerald was.  So every time any Emerald user launched Emerald, you were connecting to this blog page with out you knowing it and that blog page useage went up a tick. With Emerald’s huge userbase of Emerald is so HUGE (in the estimated hundreds of thousands) this was SEEN as a DoS attack.  Not that it was intended as a DoS attack, or that it actually took the site offline; since it wasn’t and it didn’t.

Reguardless this is a direct violation of LL’s policies and so LL demanded that two members of the Emerald Dev team would leave Emerald. They refused and so Emerald viewer was banned.  The group reformed WITH OUT those two devs, and formed Phoenix team as we know it today. The actual “DoS” attack amounted to almost nothing other than increased traffic numbers to that site; no denial of service was ever accomplished, even though that was never the goal of this prank.  But pranks often never go as planned.  …shit happens.

These facts doesn’t stop the fear and rumor mongering DRAMA that always comes about anytime something like this occurs (anything LL does always causes over exaggerated drama). Because of this people’s imaginations went wild and made assumptions that Emerald was an app made by hackers, and since all hackers are apparently evil; you’re at risk. <sigh!>

Even YEARS after Emerald has been all but forgotten, and Phoenix has become the dominant viewer next to Viewer 2/3 people STILL belive in the fear-mongering bullshit that was the legacy of Emerald.  Yes sure some of the Devs of Emerald/Pheoenix were known to create copybots clients, known grifers, and all that other crap. But that lead to a LOT of special features in viewers that we all enjoy in OTHER viewers.  Keep in mind folks.  Second Life client software (viewers) are open source.  Everything Phoenix has made is also open source and a lot of other 3rd party viewer dev teams adopt many of their code and vice versa.  If their was EVER anything malicious about their code, it would have been spotted a long time ago. Because it’s open source it’s EXTREMELY important that if you should ALWAYS download Phoenix or firestorm directly from www.phoenixviewer.com since anybody else can re-compile their own viewer with malware, and call it Phoenix.

This hyperbole from the fall of Emerald needs to end. It’s been over two years for Christ’s sake.  I thought it WAS over back then but people still keep clutching to bullshit like this due to fear, ignorance, and hate.  Even if this claim that 300 users were “hacked” for using Emerald (or phoenix) out of the 200,000+ phoenix and firestorm users (guesstimate since LL doesn’t share usage numbers publicly) who use it EVERY DAY seem VERY minor and meaningless if only 300 users were effected.  Unless all those 300 users were specifically targeting content creators, land barrons, and residents who had al ot of L$, then that cause alarm. Likely these 300 people are ignorant noobs clicking ads from spambots promising free L$.

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