Second Life, the site where 650,000 people play out fantasy lives online, has suffered a computer security breach that exposed the real-world personal data of its users, writes Reuters.
Linden Lab, which owns Second Life, said in a post to its users that its customer database - including names, addresses and passwords and some credit card data - had been compromised. All Second Life "residents" are being required to request a new password.
Second Life is inhabited by animated characters that users design for themselves to interact with others. Users buy and sell virtual land and build businesses with "Linden Dollars," which can be exchanged for real currency. Some 286,000 residents have used the site in the past 60 days, according to a count on the home page.
Fortune 500 corporations such as Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo, along with architects, authors, and musicians, have built virtual outposts of their organizations or personas on the site. American Apparel, for example, has created a business to sell clothing for the Second Life avatars, which users create to represent themselves.
Musicians Duran Duran and Suzanne Vega have held concerts inside Second Life.