Thursday, September 22, 2022

"Media on A Prim" Weakness To Griefing Discovered

 It seems the griefers have discovered an exploit in the viewer, and once again the people at Linden Lab, and Firestorm, have to take care of it. While it looked worse than it actually was, it did cause some worry.

A few days ago in the forums, the following was posted in the forums: "New Form of Griefing?"

Today I was at a rental office and noticed a few people hanging around the welcome area, thought nothing of it then suddenly and simultaneously my viewer (Latest Firestorm) opened up search and some offensive words appeared in the text box, as well as a "create new group" window, with some errors appearing on the screen. I quickly left and closed out all these windows.  It was quite a scary experience and I was only one click away from clicking the OK to create a random group at a 100l$ cost.

The post was made by an AmerAaron, who doesn't post on the forums often. And that wasn't the only incident. Earlier in the month, a Stenelaide posted about an incident at a music event.

So tonight I was halfway through my shift as a hostess in a live music venue and I suddenly crashed. I log back in and this mess pops up on my screen, on the singer's screen and on her manager's. A search bar with a nice statement, a friend request and a voice call to the singer. They also managed to block her on my behalf and they asked me to teleport to some random piece of mainland. The owner found two scripts that were dropped. That was awful, how do they manage to execute stuff on our viewer? Is that simple?

After several posts by concerned forum readers, there was finally a response by Whirly Fizzle of Firestorm.

... this form of griefing has been popping up over the last few days. It uses media on a prim (MOAP) to open those floaters on your screen.

If you disable media in the viewer, it will stop it.

Linden Lab issued an emergency ModalHotfix viewer to fix this on Thursday:

Firestorm Viewer will have a new beta viewer out, hopefully tomorrow with the fix.
To pick up the Firestorm Beta, please join the "Phoenix-Firestorm Preview Group" & the beta will be sent out in the group notice.

This problem affects all viewers that don't yet have the Linden Lab patch. 

Whirly would go on to say the bug was more annoying than dangerous.

It's just a clever use of viewer media.

Though it seems very scary, all that can be done on unpatched viewers is open up any viewer floater on your screen when the media loads, plus enter custom text into the search window or TOS window etc.

Obviously I don't want to explain how it's done before everyone has the fix. I wish I could because then it would be less scary when you see what 's actually happening. All I will say is the media is not actually directing to an web page at all & it's actually using supported functions in the viewer. I'm surprised no griefer thought of using it this way before. 
So please don't worry - it's extremely annoying but ultimately harmless.

I suspect LL patched it quickly because it was causing lots of worry to those that had been hit with it, understandably.
 Checking the Phoenix-Firestorm Preview group, there was a new beta viewer that was released just a few days ago, Firestorm Beta build Checking further on the wiki entry, they had added some features related to the issue.
  • Fixed media on a prim looping when it should not.
  • Fixed audio from media on a prim (MOAP) begins to play if object is put into edit mode
  • Fixed the Search floater opening without appropriate search results after performing a search from the NavBar

So it seems the annoyance is on it's way to being solved, though it may be some time before the feature gets put into an official viewer update.

Hat Tip: Cynthia Farshore

Picture by Stenelaide
Addition: story at New World Notes 

Bixyl Shuftan

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