Dear honorable citizens of New Eden.
It’s been a while since our last dev blog. We’ve been publicly absent for such a long period because we’ve been quite busy with a lot of highly interesting projects. Today we would like to start a new series of security-centric dev blogs to fill you in on how we do things.
To begin, we would like to present you with an overview of CCP’s security focused activities and highlight some recent changes.
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to CCP Stillman, who has sailed forth to explore new opportunities. We thank him for all the great times and good work he did protecting both our players and CCP, and wish him the best of luck.
Security @ CCP
CCP's security presence is split into two branches. Classical information (technology) security is handled by the InfoSec team. In-game security is handled by Team Security. Both worlds are overseen and driven by our Director of Information Security, CCP Bugartist – a one-man-army of multitasking.
CCP InfoSec is a team of selected and dedicated security focused individuals who help to ensure the availability, integrity and confidentiality of CCP's Virtual Worlds. Information Security has many definitions. Some are purely technical and others are purely virtual. It is their daily work to strategically combine the strengths of both to find practical solutions for the real and the virtual worlds of CCP.
The members of InfoSec are:
InfoSec’s latest projects include network security enhancements for CCP's worldwide data-center and office locations, security minded code-reviews, fresh company-wide security policies, and improvements of CCP's internal information structures for process-oriented security workflows.
Team Security handles game-related security matters for CCP's products. CCP prohibits behavior such as botting and Real Money Trading ("RMT") to protect the integrity of our Virtual Worlds, and Team Security is tasked with enforcing these policies.
The members of Team Security are:
Team Security’s duties include waging war against real-money transactions (RMT). Since the last Team Security blog we have been busy chasing down RMT operatives and their corrupt ilk, applying bans and removing the ill-gotten proceeds from the EVE universe.
Why we fight the good fight
The RMT element has extended its poisonous tentacles in many different directions in our beautiful game world, applying their trade of account hacking, credit card fraud, client modification, exploiting and macro use (to name but a few of their dirty methods). All of those activities are detrimental to the integrity of whatever game they're found in, and RMT is prohibited in most games for a very good reason. They just want the money – and they'll not hesitate to ruin your account and/or game-play experience to get it.
Team Security is focused on keeping this age-old foe in check with every resource available to us, including l33t programmers, our Legal department, Customer Support, and of course all you good people playing our games. We are working hard on improvements to account security, strengthening anti-fraud measures and shutting down botters where ever they are found. With the support of the InfoSec bros, we have a strong toolbox to support us with automation, as well as help leveraging information from more sources in order to enhance our detection capabilities. We are constantly developing our tools and methods for this endeavor to stay updated on changes to the bots out there.
Team Security sincerely appreciates your assistance with reporting potential bots, but we have noticed some confusion as to where these reports should be sent. We would therefore like to clarify your options.
Ideally, bot reports should be sent using the in-game “report bot” feature.This system provides Team Security with a centralized dashboard for investigating bot reports.
The other alternative is to report a bot by email to the Security Inbox ([email protected]). We ask that you reserve reports by email to larger-scale cases, i.e., not individual character reports, or for cases where you have additional information you would like to share with us. Thanks again for your support!
Doing business with the enemy
Awareness is a crucial component of our efforts against RMT. CCP urges everybody to please refrain from doing business with Real Money Traders, as by doing so you are providing them with monetary support, which keeps them in business and perpetuates the problem.
CCP's efforts against RMT are here to protect the integrity of New Eden, as well as your ability to play and enjoy our product without the interference of pesky bots and ISK spammers.
As we take action against bot farms and RMT operations, we often see surges in fraudulent activity, such as phishing and credit card fraud. We have also seen a correlation between large breaches and fraudulent activity in EVE Online.
Credit card fraud is a serious real-world crime, and we want to raise awareness on the topic. When we confiscate RMT ISK, it's because the assets came from an illegitimate source. Whether or not you paid real money for the assets you received does not factor into our decision to remove the proceeds; our concern is how said assets were acquired.
If you want to turn your hard-earned real-life moneys into in-game ISK, CCP offers PLEX as a legal way of doing so.
When we notify ISK buyers of our actions, the offenders are usually apologetic and understanding. A recurring theme is that they are not aware of the things that take place behind the scenes. CCP certainly is, and we will have more on this topic at Fanfest.
No security related dev blog without a graph
In order to follow this age-old tradition, here’s a brief teaser of what’s coming at Fanfest below:
This graph shows raw ISK seized by Team Security since September 2013. Improving our detection capabilities and internal toolset is a constant on-going process, and the spike in November 2013 is the result of some new weapons we have at our disposal.
We hope to see you all at Fanfest for more updates!
Until then, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] with anything game- and information-security related at any time. Thanks again for your support, and fly
P.S. Awareness tip of the day: Don’t trust random foes! Scamming in EVE Online is allowed as long as it stays within specific boundaries. Please refer to this EVE Knowledge Base article for more information about scamming, exploitation and how to report it.
– CCP Security