This morning we had an issue on the Second Life Marketplace which caused a mixup on what information was shown to Residents that were using the Marketplace at the time. I would like to explain a bit about what happened and provide more details.
The issue started this morning (Nov 4th) around 9:30am PST/SLT and ended around 12:30pm PST/SLT. That’s about three hours total.
During this time, if you were logged into the Second Life Marketplace and went to the user account page, you may have seen a page for another Resident that was currently logged in at the same time as you. The user account page shows your Second Life account name, L$ balance, a small portion of your past Marketplace activity, wish lists, received gifts, and an obfuscated version of your email address. (For the email address, it shows the first letter of the username and domain name, plus the top-level domain. So, email@example.com appears as s****@e****.com. It’s just enough information to let you confirm an address you already know, but not enough that someone else could use it.)
We estimate that no more than 500 Residents visited the account page during this time, and not all of those would have been mixed up. You could not pick which Resident’s information you saw if you didn’t see your own. Instead, you’d get a page from another more-or-less random Resident that had also pulled up the account information page during this time.
It wasn’t possible to make purchases using someone else’s account, and you couldn’t have made changes to some else’s account.
So how did this happen?
We’ve been working to make the Second Life Marketplace more robust and handle higher numbers of page views at once. Due to a change made this morning, the user account page got cached when we didn’t mean for it to be. Once we realized what had happened, we rolled back the changes immediately and deleted all of our caches. No other parts of Second Life were impacted.
Our engineering teams are now working with our QA (quality assurance) team to make sure we develop better testing for this in the future. We want to make sure we catch something like this long before it makes it out into the hands of Residents.
We’d like to extend a really big thank you to everyone who reported the issue to us the moment they saw it! Because of your vigilance we were able to react really quickly and limit the time that this misconfiguration was live. (Seriously, y’all rock! 💜)
We’re sorry this issue happened this morning. We’re working to make sure it never happens again, and developing better test procedures for use in the future.
Your coffee-loving GridBun that chugged way too much coffee this morning,
Second Life Operations Manager