Although hacking rumors at the biggest crypto exchange by trading volume, Binance, caused alarm in the community, an official statement puts their minds to rest claiming that all funds are secure and the hackers are the ones losing money this time.
Recently, the VIA/BTC market on Binance experienced abnormal training activity, leading to a major bump in Viacoin’s price, following which withdrawals on the exchange were suspended. So what exactly occurred on Binance?
It appears that over the past two months, hackers had managed to acquire user accounts through phishing attacks (a situation where fake websites are made similar to the real ones and steal account information from legitimate users) and generated trading API keys for all compromised accounts.
The hackers were patient enough to sit on these details, waiting for the right time to launch a coordinated attack, which they did just recently. They started by choosing the VIA/BTC market because of its low volume and then setting up large sell orders at great prices. Then they executed trades on victim’s accounts, selling their alts for BTC and later buying VIA at high prices (while they sold their own VIA coins at the other end).
Eventually, the hackers, currently in possession of the stolen BTC, attempted to withdraw it but by then, Binance had suspended withdrawals. A nice turn of events as trades reversed and the hackers lost money.
After the investigation, Binance has identified 31 accounts which appear to belong to the hackers, and every single abnormal trade executed in the VIA/BTC market is going to be reversed.
Furthermore, considering the fact that all withdrawals were suspended at the time, the hackers’ original Viacoins were also withheld, and the CEO reported that they will be donated to charity, as is seen in this statement.
“Binance has reversed all irregular trades. All deposit, trading and withdrawal are resumed. Will write more detailed account of what happened shortly. Interestingly, the hackers lost coins during this attempt. We will donate this to Binance charity.”
In addition to that, Binance, which supported the recent ONT airdrop for NEO holders, has now listed ONT/BNB, ONT/BTC and ONT/ETH pairs, enabling users to deposit their ONT and start trading.
Even with Binance being constantly under a lot of scrutiny and pressure on account of being the top exchange, it has managed to encounter criticism with crystal clear communication.