Today CCP has deployed a client update #2 for Incarna 1.1.3. In the patch notes we can find:
Client Update #2
- To benefit the EVE community at large, a small change has been made to game mechanics in regarding criminal flags and how they are inherited in high security space. If a pilot is remote repairing, or otherwise assisting, another pilot who commits a criminal act then the repair module will now disengage. In order to continue repairs the module will need to be restarted and a message will appear warning of the criminal flag and possible consequences.
- 67 Alliance logos have been added
A lot of players are already concerned about the change, because it was one of the ways to disrupt the Incursion fleets and was used by many griefers and wanna-be pirates. How does it work?
An Incursion fleet often consists of people who don’t know each other. Some elemental trust is required to fly in one fleet with people you don’t know. But unfortunately Incursion fleets rely on spider tank, as no local tank can withstand the DPS dealt by the Incursion NPCs. Remote repair used to have one disadvantage: if the repaired target is flagged (be it agression, war, or global criminal), then the repairing party also becomes flagged. At first, griefers would join an Incursion fleet, let themselves be repaired and then they would attack someone else in the fleet, becoming instantly flagged with global criminal flag. In high-sec that meant both the griefer and the repping party got Concordokkened. CCP promptly fixed the issue, but players quickly found a workaround: the criminal mechanic. A neutral character would steal from a container, becoming flagged for the corporation, who owns the can. Then the neutral pilot would join a fleet and let himself be repaired. The criminal flag would then be passed to everyone who repaired the neutral pilot, just as if they had stolen from a can, too.
Why is this flag mechanic broken? Because when someone else is flagged there is no visible sign of that flag until its too late (notification becomes available under the top left agression countdown, but you have to explicitly hover your mouse there to check who are you flagged against – normally it will be just Sansha NPCs).
Summing it up: this flag mechanic was flawed (GCC), it was exploited by people looking for an easy kill and it got fixed. Players then found a workaround for that fix and started exploiting it, too. Today CCP has fixed it for good.
PS. You can always gank Incursioners if you hate them so much.
PS.2 Thanks to @Mara_Rinn for spotting a mistake in my post!