Hackers have stolen $40 million from major crypto exchange

Binance says 7,000 coins were stolen in a single transaction

Hackers have stolen $40 million from major crypto exchange
Steve Randall

Just when the cryptocurrency sector was enjoying some more positive news with Bitcoin values heading towards $6K, one of the world’s leading exchanges has reported a security breach.

Binance says that 7,000 bitcoin (BTC) was stolen as hackers accessed its BTC hot wallet which holds around 2% of its total BTC holdings. Although the exchange says that “All of our other wallets are secure and unharmed,” it also notes that “There may also be additional affected accounts that have not been identified yet.”

It appears that hackers used several techniques to gain access to codes and other information that allowed them to access the hot wallet. These included phishing, viruses and other attacks.

The value of the stolen Bitcoin is more than U$40 million but with the cryptocurrency having surged in recent weeks, there is potential for the breach to affect the value of investors’ holdings.

“Please also understand that the hackers may still control certain user accounts and may use those to influence prices in the meantime,” the firm’s statement says.

Investors’ funds are fully protected by Binance’s Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU), an emergency insurance fund.

The breach is the latest issue to hit cryptocurrency investors following the Quadriga CX lockdown and increased interest from the CRA.

Trading continues, withdrawals suspended
Binance says that is through review of what has happened and how it can bolster its security will take about a week and that withdrawals from investors’ accounts will be suspended during this period.

However, trading is continuing and the exchange says that will allow clients to adjust their positions if they wish.

Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao appeared live on Twitter just hours after the attack was made public, to reassure investors that the exchange is doing all it can to ensure security and that it has sufficient funds to continue trading.