Saturday, June 18, 2011

Linden Lab has NOT Been Hacked

"Japan's Sega Corp joined the rapidly growing club of video game companies whose computer systems have been hacked by cyber criminals, the company said on Friday" (Reuters via Yahoo! News).

Makes me wonder about server security at the companies whose games I play, like Linden Lab. But are they big enough for anyone to care? And how often do you change your passwords? While you may not want to go to the extent that security expert Steve Gibson recommends on his "Perfect Passwords" page (Web), you you might want to avoid the most commonly used passwords (Web), make your choices hard to guess, and change them often.

If possible, mix upper and lower case letters with numbers and symbols to make them hard to guess. This doesn't mean they can't be memorable. Maybe start with a phrase you know well, like the opening line of a book. "Call me Ishmael" starts off Moby Dick by Herman Melville becomes Ca11MeIshmae1 (maybe ... lots of choices). It is also hard to type until you get used to it, but it would be memorable. Or use the first letters of each word in a long phrase: Twas the Night before Christmas becomes t+nb4C. Very, very hard to guess.

This won't help you if an unencrypted list of passwords and e-mail/user names is stolen from The Lab (in our example ... I'm not implying anything specific) so change your passwords often. Weekly is best. Monthly should do. Anytime you hear of a hack ... almost weekly. Maybe even right now, while it is on your mind?

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