Breach Causes Second Strife

Virtual world en-duran-ce test; feline feeding frenzy

Could it be the whole earth opening wide?" droned the demented Drudge. The Furry One sang the line from Duran Durans "A View to a Kill" after he heard that Linden Labs online playground, Second Life, had been hacked. It seems the virtual worlds database was cracked, and the personal data of its 650,000 users was compromised. "Im guessing the hackers abandoned their attack and ran for the virtual hills when they heard Duran Duran performing a virtual concert inside Second Life," cackled the Kitty, referring to the bands much-hyped presence in the virtual world.


Suddenly, the KattPhones new ring tone, "Union of the Snake," brought forth a call from a crony who said it looked like Microsoft was attempting to toss an olive branch the open-source crowds way. The wild boys in Redmond posted an Open Specification Promise on the Web that says the company will allow developers free use of dozens of its Web services specifications without licensing or fear of litigation. The crony also noted that Doug Burgum, who heads Microsofts Business Solutions division, will leave the company in June 2007. Burgum was the founder of Great Plains Software, which was assimilated by the Redmondians back in 2001. Burgum, who claims to have no current plans after his departure, will be replaced by Satya Nadella, a corporate VP already with the Business Solutions group.

Bidding his pal adieu, Spence realized he was hungry like a wolf, and skatted off to lunch at The Fours Restaurant and Sports Bar in Boston. There, the Furball met up with an exploit expert who was in Beantown to attend the Security Standard Conference at the Hynes Convention Center. The protective pal said that Cisco bigwig John Chambers told the crowd that virtual security needed to mimic the way the human body naturally responds to various attacks. "For the majority of attacks on the human body, youd never know it occurred," Chambers said. "Mmm, if a network functioned like human anatomy, youd still have to worry about garbage-in, garbage-out scenarios, not to mention buffer overflows," laughed the Lynx as he finished his second plate of nachos.

"What else is going on in security? Is there something I should know?" queried the Kitty. "Well, I hear Arcot Systems, an e-payment and digital signature provider, and Adobe are going to announce their collaboration soon," the security source said. The word is that the two companies joint efforts have spawned a simple digital signature system for Adobe Acrobat 8 users.

As the gluttonous Grimalkin launched into some Green Monster jalapeños, the crypto crony also noted that former eBay COO Maynard Webb has been appointed to Salesforce.coms board of directors. The locked-down liaison also mentioned that former CA CEO Sanjay Kumars sentencing date for accounting fraud has been pushed back to Oct. 12. The speculation inside Islandia is that Sanjay will get 5 years. "I guess thatll depend on whether they use the 35-day-month calendar to calculate it," mused the Mouser.


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Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...