Binance, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, was reportedly hacked — with the bad guys stealing bitcoin valued at $41 million.
In a post on the company’s website, Binance Chief Executive Officer Zhao Changpeng said 7,000 bitcoins were stolen by hackers using a variety of methods. “Hackers were able to obtain a large number of user API keys, 2FA codes and potentially other info. The hackers used a variety of techniques, including phishing, viruses and other attacks. We are still concluding all possible methods used. There may also be additional affected accounts that have not been identified yet,” the company executive said in the post.
Binance said the hacking only impacted its BTC hot wallet, which held around 2 percent of its total BTC holdings. All of its other wallets are secure and unharmed. Changpeng did note that the hackers were patient in terms of when they launched the attack and executed a well-orchestrated attack via multiple accounts. “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. Once executed, the withdrawal triggered various alarms in our system. We stopped all withdrawals immediately after that,” the CEO wrote.
Binance said it will use the Secure Asset Fund for Users or SAFU to cover the hack, noting that while no user funds will be affected, it will suspend all deposits and withdrawals while it conducts a security review. The company expects it to take about one week and will provide updates as it progresses on its internal inquiry. Binance will enable trading during the time frame. “Please also understand that the hackers may still control certain user accounts and may use those to influence prices in the meantime. We will monitor the situation closely. But we believe with withdrawals disabled, there isn’t much incentive for hackers to influence markets,” the executive wrote.