Big bag of money being held in a fistSince it’s recent introduction, several solutions have been attempted in an effort to reduce the impact that the Credit Hack is having on pilots everywhere.

In summary, you can have your onboard ship computer hacked as part of an ambush set by an enemy pilot. This hacking process results in 5% (or 10% if the attacker has a Hackotron installed) of your turnover being stolen directly from you for each round of combat that is part of the ambush.

The Pardus Manual explains that:

Turnover refers to all credit income, including all earnings and rewards, as well as all payments and transactions made to a person (or their starbase).

A pilot who is skilling (not trading) with a couple of buildings might see their weekly turnover sit at around 300,000. A starbase owner managing a small sector might see their turnover sit at around 1,400,000. An active trader stocking buildings across multiple sectors may see their turnover hover at around 3,000,000 (or more). It really can fluctuate a lot.

How to lose your money quickly

Under normal circumstances, a pilot carrying 1,000,000 credits on their ship and with a 300,000 credit turnover, will lose 15,000 credits per round they are caught in a credit hack ambush.

A typical 20 round ambush could therefore see up to 300,000 credits lost to the attacking pirate in a single ambush! The pirate could even hit back right away and attempt another round of credit hacks – potentially leading to further losses (until eventually you are killed or your ship computer shuts down to prevent further losses).

It can take only moments for you to lose a significant amount of the credits that you spent days trading for!

How can you prevent being credit hacked?

Unless you decide to sit on a Planet or Starbase and never leave – there will always be a risk that some pirate will credit hack you in an ambush.

One suggestion is to maintain a very low turnover – since you will only have 5% of turnover per round stolen from you. It’s very very difficult to manage your turnover and still function as a trader in a regular economy.

The most effective solution is to ensure you travel with very little cash on you at any one time. This used to be easier when you could make an unlimited number of deposits to your Alliance Funds – but this was restricted to once every 7 days shortly after credit hacking was introduced.

Until now, pilots have been utilising the Bounty system to reduce their credits temporarily when they have need of travelling. It works like this:

On a planet or starbase, for a cost of 100 APs, you can queue a bounty on another pilot (a reward for killing them or for destroying a building of theirs). You choose how much you want to place in the bounty, and then this money is immediately taken from you by the bounty system and set aside (to be given to the pilot who successfully collects the bounty).

At this stage you can wander around with the knowledge that the bounty system is looking after your money for you and remains safe. Even if you have a very high turnover and are caught in a credit hack ambush – that money remains safe and out of harms way.

There is a wait of 24 hours until the bounty you queued is then announced and becomes active. Until the bounty becomes active, you can cancel it and nobody would ever know you had queued it in the first place. if you cancel it after it has gone active, there is a GNN news entry announcing you have withdrawn the bounty. Either way, you can cancel the bounty you placed and the money is immediately returned to you again.

So for a cost of 100 APs this has been an effective solution to the credit hack.

While it still works, you will now find that your turnover is increased every time you withdraw a bounty you had placed (since that is considered to be a form of income and is now included in the calculation of turnover). While this is not necessarily a huge problem, it means that you may be targetted by pirates specifically hoping to snag a large amount of credits from you (5% of your turnover per round).

Just something to be aware of if you are watching your turnover.