Hackers have pilfered $41m worth of Bitcoin from the Binance cryptocurrency exchange after swiping 7,000 digital coins in one fell swoop.
That’s some serious thieving, which Binance has said the theft was carried out in a variety of ways from the use of malware to phishing attacks aimed at grabbing security credentials.
The hacking efforts led the cyber crims to the exchange’s ‘hot wallet’ whereby a cache of cryptocurrency is available for immediate customer online transactions.
Binance noted that rather than get some credentials and get to stealing the digital money, the hackers waited until they had access to a number of accounts before then making a grab at a bountiful amount of Bitcoins in a single swoop.
“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. It was unfortunate that we were not able to block this withdrawal before it was executed,” Binance said in a security breach statement.
“Once executed, the withdrawal triggered various alarms in our system. We stopped all withdrawals immediately after that.”
At the time of writing, the company has suspended all deposits and withdrawals of cryptocurrency on its exchange, and reckons it’ll take a week for it to conduct a full security review of its systems.
As it stands, it looks like the hackers have got away with the heist, though we suspect there will be some joint cyber task force looking at tracking them down.
For folks affected by the hack, there’s some good news in that Binance will look to replace the lost digital money with the help of its emergency insurance fund. But the heist will certainly be a blow for Binance, which is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges around; at least the nicked money isn’t trapped in some kinda bizarre limbo.