"…1 plus 2 plus 2 plus 1…

The long awaited dev blog on the infamous POS exploit has finally come out and let me tell you, it’s a log to read.

http://myeve.eve-online.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=626

I have read this twice and I am reading it again.  I will hit the highlights here, but I do recommend you read this as there is a lot of information.  In a nutshell, they estimate that the value of the total produced materials from this exploit to be a grand total of 6.7 trillion isk.

Our logs also show that there were only three corporations that had 88% of the 6.7 trillion ISK profit from the exploit.  These corporations were obviously setup specifically to harness this bug and when discovered were in the process of expanding their operations.  More on their activities follows in the chapter below from the Law and Order team but we will focus on the impact on several different items.

That’s a lot of isk, but according to the numbers they show in this report, it represents .7 percent of all the value of materials produced in 2008.  Not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things, however, being the materials are usually very rare, the actual impact to the economy was far greater.

So, how many people and POSes were involved?

At the time we discovered the exploit in early December, there were 232 reactors running in the bugged state.  Those were installed at 178 POS complexes owned by seven corporations.  The scale of the operations differed quite a bit, with one corporation running 81 bugged reactors and another with 3 reactors active.

The opening action on our part regarding the exploit included the total destruction of all the POS complexes involved. This entailed flying to each one and basically nuking everything in sight – a fireworks show of epic proportions but with no witnesses except the GMs in the demolition team.

Users directly involved in the exploit were permanently banned. Direct involvement meant that the character had a director role in the corporation using the exploit or was directly involved in servicing the POSes in exploited state.  Others that were found to be involved in moving the exploited goods and laundering the ISK also received bans for their part. A number of players who had benefitted directly from the exploit were also banned. The total number of accounts banned in relation to the exploit of POS reactors is 134.

So, we know the numbers of who was involved and to what extent.  What we will never know is exactly who was involved and for good reason.  CCP’s account privacy policy will not allow such information to be released, however, the EVE Online community has figured out pretty well who was involved.

So, the bigger question, how did this happen and what was the deal with the claims of petitions filed years earlier?  The report goes into detail, I will sum up:

  • Yes, petitions were received in 2005 and 2007 .
  • Both petitions were researched and according to logs and documentation available (they admit that logs and documentation was bad), the petitions were closed as isolated incidents.
  • They did investigate all CCP staff and all members of the CSM, no one was linked to any of the xploiting corporations and/or characters.

The last petition was correctly filed into the exploit category but it was simply handled as an individual problem for the player reporting it. Thus it fell through the cracks and did not raise the flags it should have and no exploit investigation was launched.

CCP has done something that many other MMO’s do not do, they admitted that they made a mistake.  Ladies and Gentleman, I know that there will be many upon many posts on the EVE forums about this very line, but let’s “calm our passions” here.  We know they make mistakes, they are just as human as the rest of us.

The last section of this dev blog does go into their efforts to keep something like this from happening again.

So in the end…..

There will be exploits in the future and we will do our best to discover them in their early stages and minimize their effect on EVE with new and proactive procedures. We do hope that the EVE community will accept our way of handling these once they are found.  The procedures and rules used against those using these exploits will also be reviewed on a regular basis. We have already had discussions with the CSM on fines and other tools to punish those that directly, or indirectly, reap the benefits from illegal activity within EVE. No final decisions have been made yet, but now is your chance to contact your CSM representatives and let your voice be heard.

Again, don’t take my post here as the complete story, you should all take the time to read the dev blog for yourself.  It’s a long read as I said, but do take the time, it will help answer many of the questions we all have concerning this issue.

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~ by J. Riley Castine on February 10, 2009.

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