Bitcoin hackers steal over $40M in ‘well-orchestrated’ cyber breach
Hackers stole more than $40 million worth of Bitcoins in a single transaction on one of the world’s biggest crypto-currency exchanges, the company has admitted.
The head of Binance said the “large scale security breach” was accomplished through “a variety of techniques, including phishing, viruses and other attacks.”
“The hackers had the patience to wait, and execute well-orchestrated actions through multiple seemingly independent accounts at the most opportune time,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao wrote in a blog post Tuesday.
“The transaction is structured in a way that passed our existing security checks. It was unfortunate that we were not able to block this withdrawal before it was executed.”
Zhao also posted a link to the electronic history of the theft, which shows the hackers swiped more than 7,074 Bitcoins, worth $41.6 million.
Zhao said the hackers targeted Binance’s “hot wallet,” which is connected to the internet and which he said holds about 2 percent of the exchange’s Bitcoin holdings.
“All of our other wallets are secure and unharmed,” he said.
But deposits and withdrawals were suspended pending a “thorough security review,” which Zhao said would likely take a week.
Binance ranks No. 4 for adjusted trading volume worldwide over the past 30 days, but a 26 percent drop in trades pushed it to No. 13 during the past 24 hours, according to the CoinMarketCap website.
The company was founded in Hong Kong in 2017, but last year announced it was moving to Malta amid a crackdown by Chinese regulators.
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