Malta-based crypto exchange Binance suffers $40 million hack of 7,000 Bitcoins

Binance claims the attackers used a range of techniques including phishing and malware to carry out the hack. 

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao

The cryptocurrency exchange Binance has suffered what it termed a “large scale security breach” on Tuesday evening, with hackers transferring 7,000 Bitcoin valued at some $40 million in one transaction from the company’s hot wallet. 

In an announcement last night, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that hackers were able to obtain user API keys, two-factor authentication (2FA), and potentially other info – it has not disclosed what, though. 

At this point, Binance also doesn’t know how many accounts have been affected. 

Binance claims the attackers used a range of techniques including phishing and malware to carry out the hack. The attack managed to circumvent Binance‘s security checks, but after noticing the strange activity, the exchange blocked all withdrawals. 

Withdrawals will continue to be blocked for the next seven days while Binance carries out a security check. Binance will use its SAFU (Secure Asset Fund for Users) emergency insurance fund, to reimburse accounts affected by this breach. 

Binance’s rise to the top of the list of the world’s best cryptocurrency exchanges happened fast saw it make a strategic move to Malta after first starting up in Hong Kong. 

Binance quickly grew from a once non-existent cryptocurrency exchange firm to one which regularly accounts for the highest trading volume of cryptocurrency exchanges. In January of 2018, Binance became the largest cryptocurrency exchange. The development of Binance was funded by an ICO which took place in 2017 between the 1st of July and the 21st of July. At the time, interest in cryptocurrencies was rapidly increasing and large amounts of projects were issuing tokens via ICOs to raise funds. Over $6.5 billion was raised through ICOs in 2017 alone. 

More in Business News