Newcomer / Intro System Authority Vessels Agro

Lost my passenger ship to system authority vessel outside Okuni City in the Asvienses star system. I had used the auto launch feature and was in another window reading the forums when I heard the message "ship under attack". I had 2 passengers on board and didn't see any of them as being flagged "wanted". Both passengers I also loaded in this station.
For cargo I had 9 natural fabrics and 3 tobacco that I just bought at Okuni city. It is a minor loss of credits as ship insurance is very generous. I am more puzzled as to the "why" this happened.

Perhaps I picked up a fine somewhere and didn’t notice. Could this be the reason and is picking up a fine the same as being flagged as “wanted”?
 
Could this be the reason and is picking up a fine the same as being flagged as “wanted”?
No, fines are not the same as having a bounty on you.

You said you used auto launch and weren't paying attention to the actual game screen so one scenerio might be that the autolaunch didn't function properly and you got stuck somewhere that caused the station to flag you as hostile. Auto Launch (and auto-dock) aren't perfect, they do sometimes screw up, it's adviseable to always be watching the game ready to take immediate control when using them. In my (limited) experience with them, auto-dock is less likely to screw the pooch then auto launch though, so I do myself alt-tab out when using the docking part...but it's always a risk.
 
Yeah most likely your auto launch went wrong and you exceeded the timer...

I auto launched a Cutter the other day and then went for a wazz/put kettle on, got back to find my ship below 50% integrity from failed mail-slot pokes (running shieldless) and the station was 45 seconds away from blowing me up...

You did say you were outside the station though. That part is more worrying. If you were able to purchase the cargo at the station then it wouldn’t have been illegal in that system (I think), and even if it was you should have just received fines (not open hostility).

That just leaves the passengers, one of them may have been a crook. Those guys can land you in it...

Look out for the rather casual sounding...

• Passenger may be wanted in multiple systems

Now, I may be mad here, but in my personal experience this actually translates to...

• Passenger is wanted EVERYWHERE. You will be killed if you get caught with this passenger on your ship! Danger! Danger!!
 
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I thought there may have been some issue with being caught with tobacco on board, as tobacco is an illegal commodity in Federation, Empire and Indie Corporate territory (so it's illegal in about three-quarters of human space). However, the starport in question is under control of an Indie Confederacy, so tobacco ought to be OK there.

The OP mentions "system authority vessels" as the killer; are you certain of this? In the "got stuck then blown up for loitering" scenario postulated by Jaggid Edje above, it would have been the gun turrets on the station itself, rather than the security ships, that killed you. Do you remember what the "death screen" notice said? It would have said "You have been killed by"... and then named the killer "System Authority Vessel", or it would have simply said "You have been killed.", if it was death-by-space-station.

A third option, if you were playing in Open, is that it was actually another CMDR that killed you... in which case the death screen would have said "You were killed by CMDR"... and it would have named the player in question.

Assuming you were killed by an NPC system Authoirty ship and you want to know what crime you were executed for, if you are playing on PC, you can review your log files (using a tool like EDD) and it will tell you what messages the NPC sent to you while you were AFK and what other triggers may have occurred (like being scanned).
 
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