Update, 9/13: Here's Tateru's report on the growth spike after the breach.
So on September 6th, according to Linden Lab's official blog, there was a web-based security breach. Payment information was not exposed, Robin Linden posts there, but potentially revealed were "Second Life account names, real life names and contact information".
Update, 9/10: Sex and security-- this post updated and bumped up to include an anonymous reader's concerns over this breach.
In other words, for at least a brief time, to unknown individuals, the veil between Second and First lives may have been shorn apart. Though reportedly no financial information was endangered, true names and details of Residents' real lives may have been revealed. (To whom, if anyone, and for what reason, if any, still not clear. Assuming it ever will be.)
How significant is this event to you, as an SL Resident, and how will it impact Second Life as a culture and an economy, if at all?
Discuss in the Comments of this post.
Update, 8:10PM: At first, the password reset would require many Residents to call Linden Lab's support line. There are now Web-based alternatives for restoring your account. However, before that announcement was made, a reader who wishes to remain announcement wrote in to express their trepidations of even doing that:
"I make my living in SL as an escort. This is NOT the sort of thing I wish to have associated with my real self and would rather lose my account, its money, and the things I have worked pretty hard for, and just start all over again. SL is for many an escape, relaxing, and fun. But having my real self call in about a character who happens to be an escort is not relaxing or fun at all, in fact it’s the extreme opposite for me.
"Yes I know I’m being paranoid about this and they probably wouldn’t even know what my character gets up to in game, and even if they did they would probably be discreet about it, but that doesn’t change the fact of how uncomfortable it would make me.
"While the clothing, objects, and Linden money I have in game at the end of the day are just pixels and 1s and 0s, they do have real world economy value so there is something very real that I may end up losing if this doesn’t get resolved, plus my sentimental attachment to the character, and the time I have put in."