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Sophos Filters Second Life

Posted by SIM on March 15, 2007

Sophos Kills Second Life On Corporate Networks
14 March 2007

Online games and virtual worlds can reduce office productivity and may present a security risk in real life

IT security and control firm Sophos has announced that from 3 April, the application control feature of Sophos Anti-Virus will be extended to give businesses the option to block workers from playing Second Life via company networks. With more than four million registered users worldwide, many of whom regularly visit Second Life on their business PCs, Sophos is warning of the negative impact on staff productivity as well as the increased IT security risks posed by allowing employees to access this virtual world at work.

In a recent Sophos web poll of more than 450 system administrators, 90.4 percent wanted the ability to block the unauthorized use of games at work, with 62 percent indicating this was essential. In addition to placing unnecessary burdens on company bandwidth and wasting valuable business time, the use of web-based games such as Second Life is also opening up a new set of IT security threats. The growing use of Web 2.0 is redefining how users interact with the internet and subsequently creating new avenues for cybercriminals seeking the easiest point of entry to the network.

“Second Life is a hot topic on the internet, with people becoming hooked on their new virtual life and companies opening up virtual branches. IT departments are concerned that workers may be so keen to log on to Second Life and other virtual worlds that there will not only be a productivity hit but also a potential security issue,” said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos. “If users cannot be trusted to act responsibly on corporate computers, then system administrators will need to enforce policies through technology. For businesses operating in the real world, users playing online games can seriously impact on performance, drain network resources and put corporate data at risk.”

The immense media buzz about the virtual world has already made Second Life a target for hackers trying to gain access to sensitive data to commit identity theft and for financial gain. Last September, hackers stole a Second Life database containing passwords and login information for around 650,000 players. To defend against web-based threats, Sophos recommends that businesses implement a consolidated security solution to protect all possible routes of infection to the corporate network, as well as controlling which websites and online applications can be accessed from work PCs.

Since Sophos introduced its application control ability to Sophos Anti-Virus in September 2006, it has proven popular with businesses giving them the power to block games, VoIP, peer-to-peer (P2P), Instant Messaging (IM) and distributed computing applications. The technology integrates seamlessly into Sophos Anti-Virus 6.0, providing users with a universal desktop client that addresses a diverse range of security and productivity challenges. In addition, Sophos’s WS1000 web security appliance delivers simple and easy enforcement of acceptable internet use policies.

System administrators will be able to set policies regarding which users can play the following games and MMORPGs from 3 April 2007:

Everquest
Everquest II
Lineage
Lineage II
Runescape
Second Life
Station Launch Pad

About Sophos

Sophos is a world leader in IT security and control. Sophos offers complete protection and control to business, education and government organizations – defending against known and unknown malware, spyware, intrusions, unwanted applications, spam, policy abuse and uncontrolled network access (NAC). Sophos’s reliably engineered, easy-to-operate products protect over 100 million users in more than 150 countries. Through over 20 years’ experience and a global network of threat analysis centers, the company responds rapidly to emerging threats and achieves the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the industry. Sophos is a global company with headquarters in Boston, MA, and Oxford, UK.

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Second Lawyers

Posted by SIM on March 6, 2007

Internet Gaming Site ‘Second Life’ Has Become Opportunity for Litigators, According to Lawyers USA;
Lawyers USA Launches New Feature by Examining the Intersection of Real and Virtual Worlds
PR Newswire US
March 6, 2007 Tuesday 10:10 AM GMT

Lawyers USA recently launched its new “Internet Lawyer ” feature by exploring how the wildly popular Second Life website has become a land of opportunity for litigators – both real and virtual. The article may be found at

“Our goal with the ‘Internet Lawyer’ feature is to keep our audience informed of the most recent developments in this increasingly complex subject area, and to examine some innovative new ways in which lawyers are not only practicing law, but also how the next generation of attorneys will ultimately be promoting themselves,” explains Associate Publisher/Editor Susan Bocamazo.

For the uninitiated, “Second Life” is a vast and constantly expanding virtual 3D world that is attracting a huge and growing number of participants. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people sit before their computers and enter Second Life in the form of “avatars,” or virtual beings, whom they create when they join.

Using keyboard and screen commands, Second Lifers navigate their avatars through an amazingly lifelike world. Avatars can walk and run, but they also possess the superhuman abilities to fly and instantly teleport to any spot in the enormous Second Life world. They also interact with other avatars, engaging in conversations that are typed by the real people sitting at their computers who form relationships, build actual communities of like-minded souls, and now conduct business transactions – all of which have created a perfect niche for legal counsel.

Lawyers USA staff writer, Dick Dahl, traveled to Second Life to “meet” with several virtual attorneys and plans to continue to report from cyberspace while Lawyers USA establishes the first legal news publication on Second Life.

The “Internet Lawyer” is published once a month in the print edition of Lawyers USA. Upcoming features include:

— Online mock juries
— Audio discovery
— Virtual law firms (NOTE: These are with real people – not avatar-based in Second Life)
— MySpace litigation
— Open Source and Web 2.0 software
— New products from the Las Vegas Consumer Electronic Show

About Lawyers USA

Lawyers USA provides comprehensive coverage of Supreme Court Decisions, national and state legislation, litigation trends and practice management information via a bi-weekly print publication, daily/weekly e-alerts, and complete news archives at .

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Unitrin Insurance Opens Second Life Biz

Posted by SIM on February 22, 2007

Unitrin Direct Gets a ‘Second Life’ in Virtual World
22 February 2007

VISTA, Calif., Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — With today’s opening of its cyber skyscraper, Unitrin Direct has become the first auto insurance company to own a virtual office building in Second Life, the popular online 3D world.

“Unitrin Direct takes pride in using the latest technology to offer outstanding auto coverage at a great value, so having a home base in Second Life is a perfect fit,” says Brian Crumbaker, senior vice president, operations and claims. “This is a fun way for us to reach out to our customers.”

To celebrate its first day of operation in Second Life, Unitrin Direct will sponsor a free, online concert on February 27th at The Infinite Mind sim, which Second Life residents can find by using the map or places search. The show will go from 4 to 9 p.m. PST and feature five musicians: Flaming Moe (4-5 p.m.), Mel Cheeky (5-6 p.m.), Cylindrian Rutabaga (6-7 p.m.), Ricardo Sprocket (7-8 p.m.) and JueL Resistance (8-9:30 p.m.).

“This is a fast and easy way for Second Life residents to get a free quote and compare Unitrin Direct’s affordable rates on our dependable car insurance,” says Tom Mercer, vice president, marketing. “We are excited to offer a new way to introduce customers to our direct business model, which allows us to reduce overhead and pass on the savings to consumers while still providing first-class service.”

Visitors to the Unitrin Direct online office will be offered a free cyber souvenir: a miniature of the skyscraper that can be taken and placed on any land they own in Second Life. Like the big building, which is a replica of Unitrin Direct’s Chicago-based headquarters, the miniature is equipped to provide instant car insurance quotes.

Second Life is a 3D online world with a rapidly growing population from 100 countries around the globe, in which the residents themselves create and build the world which includes homes, vehicles, nightclubs, stores, landscapes, clothing, and games.

The Second Life Grid is a sophisticated development platform created by Linden Lab, a company founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale, to create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D experience. The former CTO of RealNetworks, Rosedale pioneered the development of many of today’s streaming media technologies, including RealVideo. In 2006, Philip Rosedale and Linden Lab received WIRED’s Rave Award for Innovation in Business. Based in San Francisco, Linden Lab employs a senior team bringing together deep expertise in physics, 3D graphics and networking.

Second Life(R) and Linden Lab(R) are registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc.

*Average savings based on new customers who reported a savings between March and June 2006.

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