BioWare has announced that there had been no bans at all - at least, not yet - and that they've been merely suspending players temporarily as a warning against exploiting and gold farming.
In a "First, action was taken against a number of accounts for what's commonly known as 'gold farming' - or in our case, credit farming. These accounts were found to be exploiting the game in a variety of ways to maximize their credits in order to sell them to other players. Our Terms of Service team took action against these accounts and removed them permanently from the game.on the official forums, BioWare explicitly stated,
Second, a smaller number of accounts were warned or temporarily suspended for exploiting loot containers on Ilum. To be completely clear, while players may choose to travel to Ilum earlier than the recommended level (40+) and may loot containers if they can get to them, in the cases of those customers that were warned or temporarily suspended, they were systematically and repeatedly looting containers in very high numbers resulting in the game economy becoming unbalanced.
None of these accounts were banned for their actions and no accounts have been banned for travelling to Ilum while still relatively low level. By comparison, the number of accounts that were warned or temporarily suspended was considerably lower than the number of accounts banned for 'credit farming'.
It's important to remember that our Terms of Service team is extremely careful and thorough in their investigation of any potential exploit or unusual activity in-game. Working closely with the development team and using extensive metrics based on player activity, they are able to determine what is normal player activity, what is unusual and what is exploiting. Our goal is always to ensure a fair game experience for all players while also protecting the rights of individuals, and if people are disrupting the play experience for others action will be taken."
The aforementioned gold farming exploit, called "flipping" by users, deals with two players of opposite factions coordinating in a control zone. When control of a zone flips from Alliance to Empire, or vice versa, all of the gathering nodes respawn. Therefore, two players can "flip" the zone methodically to gather the freshly respawned gathering nodes.
It'll be interesting to see how this exploit is resolved. Stay tuned.