Posted Thu, Jun 28, 2012 by Martuk
Last week we reported on an exploit discovered and reported to CCP by a few EVE Online players. The players in question managed to game the system for a couple of weeks and amass a wealth of ISK and Loyalty Points (LP) before reporting the issue to CCP. This week CCP has posted the results of their investigation into the exploit, and what steps they’ve taken against the players that amassed a huge amount of wealth by using it.
In the latest developer blog, CCP Sreegs detailed the exploit and how it was taken advantage of.
This system becomes exploitable when a player is capable of dictating a disparity between the actual value of the item on the market and the average price we use to calculate LP. This is most easily accomplished using items that are virtually never traded, as one or two major purchases can change the average, but it is not a requirement that the item be rarely traded in order for manipulation to occur. The most common method of doing so is that once the price has been manipulated enough it becomes possible to generate LP by simply buying the manipulated item, killing yourself with an alt in the opposing militia, then buying another one and killing yourself with it repeating infinitely. LP in this regard functions as a separate currency which can be converted back into ISK (Interstellar Kredits - the main currency of EVE Online) at a profitable rate. This can be compared to foreign exchange manipulation.
CCP Sreegs went on to provide a chart that showed how the use of the exploit impacted LP earned during that two week period.
Since the players that discovered the exploit did report it to CCP, their accounts will remain in good standing, but they will be losing the profit from their endeavor, however, the player that reported the exploit will receive the usual reward from the PLEX for Snitches(is that really a good name to encourage reporting) program.
Because the players made efforts to inform us about the issue their accounts will remain in good standing. We have temporarily seized all LP points and store items from them. Once we're done determining how much each person has benefitted we will remove the LP gained value in LP and items and return the ISK invested in the purchase of items to them. This essentially will set each of them back to the original point at which they began this activity. The person who reported the issue will receive the usual PLEX for Snitches reward.
CCP Sreegs put emphasis on this being classified as an exploit and pointed players to a previous developer blog on “Responsible Disclosure” for future reference should they encounter something that might be considered an exploit or security issue.
Source: EVE Online Dev Blog
Original Story: EVE Players Game Faction Warfare to Make Trillions of ISK