Crypto Exchange Binance Offers $250,000 Hacker Bounty
Originally published on: CCN
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March 12, 2018
In the aftermath of a notable hacking attempt last week, cryptocurrency exchange Binance is now offering a $250,000 reward for details leading to the arrest of the hacker(s) behind the attack.
In an announcement on Sunday, Hong Kong-based Binance said it is offering a $250,000 bounty for tips leading to the arrest of hackers involved in a hacking attempt on March 7th. Now among the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, a security incident last week involving registered API keys led to irregular trading activity with a handful of users seeing unauthorized trades. The following day, Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao assured users that all irregular trades had been reversed with all user funds safe and intact.
Now described as a “large-scale, organized effort”, Binance is looking to retaliate against the hacker(s) who targeted the platform.
The exchange wrote:
“The first person to supply substantial information and evidence that leads to the legal arrest of the hackers, in any jurisdiction, will receive the equivalent of $250,000 USD in BNB. The exchange rate will be determined at time of transfer.”
In addition to the bounty – BNB or Binance coin is a token that can be traded and used on the platform – Binance has also reserved the equivalent of $10 million in cryptocurrency for future bounty rewards against malicious hacking activity targeting the exchange. Binance also called on other exchanges and industry firms to hop on board with going on the offensive against hackers. “We have also invited other exchanges and crypto businesses to join our initiative,” the exchange said.
In the days following the attack, Binance revealed that a “large scale phishing and stealing attempt” triggered its automatic risk management system to halt all withdrawals. The phishers had combed Binance user credentials over a long period of time before creating accompanying trading API keys before placing a large number of buy orders on VIA coins, a cryptocurrency with small liquidity. As reported by CCN at the time, the pump didn’t go unnoticed with the price of VIA/BTC spiking by several hundred percent.
The exchange added:
“The phishers were well organized. They were patient enough to not take any immediate action, and waited for the most opportune moment to act.”
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