Bungie, the game studio behind Halo: Reach announced it is applying penalties to gamers who have systematically abused the game's creds system to acquire rank and equipment.
The studio published its decision on a forum thread and made it clear that the ban was to affect only those who were "the most egregious Challenge Reset abusers". The challenge reset exploit was a simple disconnect, that earned the user the creds but let them retake the challenge again and again.
The Top 15,000 abusers have been stripped of creds and rank and will face a one-day no-credit fine (ie: accumulate no creds). There will be no permanent damage apart from the huge ego-scar for these players as they log into the game as penniless paupers. Some equipment may be re-downloaded through a player's download history, other bits will be lost for good (until you can win back credits, that is).
This might sound harsh, but it's actually quite a lightweight sentence. The studio is not out on a witch hunt, but it did leave a warning that no abuse will be tolerated. Next week there will be an even larger shake-down as Bungie says: "A more comprehensive pass will be occuring in the coming week as our automated Banhammer mechanisms grow accurate enough to satisfy our high bar for burden of proof." Some dishonourable discharges will be in the wake.
As one poster put it, in reply for the no-advance-warning-moaning that ensued on the thread: "Common Sense doesn't require a warning." Of course, nor do you get a stay of sentence for having performed the Challenge Exploit only a couple of times.