Binance has become the victim of a “large scale” cyber attack that resulted in the theft of 7000 Bitcoins worth around $40.8 million.
The exchange publically reported the security breach on Tuesday and explained that the hackers somehow obtained “a large number of user API keys, 2FA codes, and potentially other info” to carry out the attack.
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“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 exchange noted.
The exchange ensured that funds stored in its hot wallets were only compromised, which consists of around two percent of the exchange’s total holdings.
“The hackers had the patience to wait, and execute well-orchestrated actions through multiple seemingly independent accounts at the most opportune time. The transaction is structured in a way that passed our existing security checks,” Binance explained.
Too many coincidences?
The report of the breach came hours after unscheduled server maintenance by the exchange. While communicating about the maintenance activity, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, specifically mentioned that all “funds are #safu” which now created a stir in the community.
Have to perform some unscheduled server maintenance that will impact deposits and withdrawals for a couple hours. No need to FUD. Funds are #safu.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) May 7, 2019
Though exchanges like Cryptopia and Bithumb were attacked earlier this year, Binance’s breach is the largest crypto heist in 2019. Moreover, Binance being one of the largest digital asset exchange on the globe also raised questions on the security measures taken by crypto exchanges.