Two years down.

Time flies when you’re having fun and boy, did we have fun. A few years ago I started playing EVE Online in the middle of a terrible position in life, and it allowed me to escape the negativity because I met wonderful people. We didn’t always get along, but in the end meeting people like you helped me shape who I wanted to be as a person.

When I was fed up with nullsec in early 2014, I decided that I’d need something fresh. A former CEO and a friend started a group called Worm Hole. In a C2/C5/Null. Being fresh of the boat, I had no idea what to expect but we went for it balls deep and ended up getting burnt once or twice by incompetence. But hey, that’s how things go, it is all part of the game. So eventually when the then CEO resigned, I tried to build an environment that one day could be competitive. One day. You see, eventually we felt that we were bound by the negative reputation of our former CEO and we moved our member base to the Confederation of Independent Systems. This was an interim corporation in which we had ups and downs, but ultimately we settled on a new name on the 7th of November 2014. We became Swamphole Inc, a small corporation that focused on transparency and integrity as values. If I were to list all the ups and downs here for you, I’d need a secondary e-mail just for that alone.

And this brings us to today. We’re still with that same dream, but at a slower pace. In a little less than a month there will be the official two year anniversary of the corporation. While I do not have any plans for celebration presently, I do want to send everyone of you this message.

All of you have been an integral part along the line of Swamphole. Your effort, your time and your attitude helped shape who we are, what we achieved and what challenges we have ahead. While we may not always get along very well, I do look back to two very fond years of which you all have been a part in some capacity. For that, I’d like to thank you. I want to thank you for taking a plunge and try to make an environment that suits us all. I want to thank you for being a part of our history, how big or small it may eventually be.

In one month I will celebrate our existence. But I couldn’t have done it without the bunch of you.

Thank you for being part of what made Swamphole be awesome in it’s own way.

In name of Swamphole.
Alexhandr Shkarov.

Recruitment and Security

In Swamphole we’re trying to allow people with a past to participate in the community, when we feel the person may have a benefit and changed his/her old ways.
Obviously, that does put you at risk occasionally of a bad apple slipping through the cracks and missing some information that is crucial.

This happened to the recruitment process of Zedarh Amarizto. Initially the player applied to the corporation and we followed normal procedure of API-checks, security checks and such. Sadly, out of our complacency at the time we missed the fact that the history of Zedarh Amarizto contained clear proof of attempts to steal corporate assets. In this article I’d like to go into some of the details we found, and what it tells us as recruiters.

Initial observations:

When the player joined our public channel for questions, he seemed to be a decent lad with not much up his sleeve. We spoke about his experience, the goals and such. You know, the standard recruitment pitch. When we noticed he was acquainted to a very well known corporate thief named Searbhreathach, he became a little vague but not to the point where we intitially got suspicious. Flag number one: His reasons for knowing Searbhreathach was that they were in a similar public channel hanging out. This should’ve worried us but after some talking we kind of dismissed it as being that relevant. That is a mistake. Nothing is irrelevant when it comes to information about characters.

In order for us to filter out the people who aren’t serious about the corporation, we usually wait 24 hours untill we check the API-keys. We do this, as a person who is impatient (and thusly not interesting for us) will search/join another corporation without informing us. Alternatively these recruits resort to excessive request of when they get an update. Both are reasons for denying an application, and Zedarh Amarizto was displaying the latter of the two in some degree. This should be a warning sign but again we didn’t make it a breaking point when we should have.

So we noticed a few important things.

  • Zedarh Amarizto has multiple alts which would trade/send him money.
    • Gian Bal is the main character that recieves and transfers money to Zedarh Amarizto.
    • Akk Akk allegedly is an alt that traded actively with Zedarh.
    • TheLastSparton has repeatedly traded with Zedarh during heists, making him a potential accomplice.
  • There was a financial pattern to Zedarh leaving corporations, and items changing hands.

How did we find these aspects?

First off, we looked at their mailing history and for some reason it “magically” stopped with the mail history at the time he applied to the previous corporation. That in itself is a red flag but it was missed in the first place because our recruitment training wasn’t sorted out properly yet. As people weren’t aware of this technique, it was missed in the first review but stood out like a sore thumb in the second check.

Secondly, the financial logs of the player would indicate that he would have severe amounts of trades with his other character (Gian Bal) right after he left the corporation. In this example below, you’ll see that Zedarh Amarizto left the corporation named Allcorp Resource Union on 2015/08/06:

At the same time, the wallet entries show the following entries from during the time that he’s been taking stuff from the corporation:

When we confronted him initially, his argument was that Gian Bal was a guy who lived in his street and they would generally share ISK left and right. At that moment, the explanation seemed plausible to the recruitment team and we missed that there was a strong pattern that would reoccur during his membership in SL33P3R C3LL. We contacted the leadership of Allcorp Resource Union after we started to get some more doubts, and when we asked what they knew about Zedarh, they confirmed that he was a corporate thief. Upon looking into the API-key we noticed that there was a pattern to these transactions like the above, where Zedarh would sell a bunch of the things and then mail the money back to the original main: Gian Bal. Why would anyone sell items for someone else on such a consistent pattern and then claim it’s his friend? A red flag of its own.

Another example is when he left SL33P3R C3LL, where he was spotted taking ships with his other alts.

In the meantime we have had contact with the leadership of SL33P3r C3ll, and KARNAGE to confirm these allegations. Karnage could not verify if there were thefts done by Zedarh, but the wallet shows similar behaviour right before he left this corporation as well. While we were dealing with the damage control of him being in the corporation after we messed up initial recruitment, we got contacted by a member of Catastrophic Communication Failure further more affirming that the user above was indeed a corporate thief.

The Aftermath:

Obviously we removed all of Zedarh’s roles and permissions right off the bat, and changed all passwords for towers that he has had access to, but that didn’t stop him from trying to convince us to stay. As a CEO I have to choose if I wish to keep someone who is questionable but possibly a nice guy, over the reputation of our corporation. I do not mind giving second chances, but only if that does not hurt our corporation as a whole. The actions of Zedarh are severe enough that we could not consider him to be a member of our organisation.

What did we learn?

There are a few lessons that we need to keep in mind:

  • There is no such thing as 100% guarantee.
  • We need to revise how our recruitment process works internally.
  • We need to take our time, and not rush. As a result, all applications will take at least 24 hours, and after a maximum of 72 hours you should get a status update.
  • Apply a four-eye principle more thoroughly, meaning that new recruits will need at least two independent recruiters approving the background checks.


As a person, Zedarh came across like a good lad with decent motivation. Sadly he is a confirmed corp thief, and while he might be the nicest lad in the world, we draw the line there.
I recommend everyone who runs across this guy to do a thorough check, and I hope that this article helps a future corporation in their recruitment process. That said, I also hope that people will not take this as a ticket to instantly begin and harass the guy.

Grand Theft Orca

Do you know those moments where you feel awesome because you just managed to do something really cool? At one point in the evening our member Helios Axion is scanning around for some content and finding new connections to go about our business, when he noticed a small group of Total Insecurity trying to set up a tower in J160311. As I was away, he thought nothing of it as Helios is a 7 million SP toon and the defenders had an Orthrus, Procurer (bait), Nemesis and the Orca laying around.

After I returned to the game, I was immediately informed that we potentially had content and that it would be my choice to go in or not seeing I was more experienced at that point. So grabbing my Prophecy, I head down there and start messing with their heads, trying to shoot them but always having them warp off. So far so good, no scram so I can MJD out, I am good! We’re trading blows for a good 10 minutes and I decide to bring a Cyclone in, which upon warping happens to decloak Jousake Hirosi’s Orca. Instead of trying to get out and kill me before I could kill his hulltanked Orca, the pilot (and CEO) had the bright idea to eject a Falcon and jump into it, leaving the Orca unpiloted.

I tried to recall my drones and waited out my timer, while my health on the Prophecy went lower and lower. At the second that my Prophecy dies, my character manages to jump into the orca. Clearly the guys from Total Insecurity weren’t paying attention as I slowly warped away without MWD-trick or webs on the Orca. I eventually got the Cyclone out as well.

In the end our total losses were a Nemesis and a Prophecy, combined around 120 million ISK. The Orca itself had about 80 million in POS items along with a fresh Nemesis which was awarded along with part of the ISK to Helios Axion.


  • If I were to draw a conclusion, I would say that even new players can create great content with awesome results, if they are willing to move out there and do their thing! We’re now 900 million richer because my newbro-ish member. I wish I had more guys like him!
  • It’s never smart to leave an orca floating in space without locking it pre-emptively.
  • Even two guys can do awesome stuff!
  • Make sure you listen to your scout’s wife when she yells excitedly to go get them!