Binance and the fake KYC hack
Security

Binance and the fake KYC hack

By Marco Cavicchioli - 7 Aug 2019

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In the last few hours, there’s been news of a hypothetical hack into Binance’s KYC data. According to the company, the news is false, or rather, an attempt at extortion based on false information. 

Binance, in fact, reported that an unidentified individual threatened the company with the publication of 10,000 photographs “that bear similarity to Binance KYC data”. 

The perpetrator would have asked for 300 BTC – a current equivalent of almost three and a half million dollars – not to publish these photographs. 

This would be an attempt at extortion, but the company says that they are still investigating this case in order to determine the origin of those photographs. 

The exchange has already been the victim of similar attempts at extortion and hacking in the past, although this time there will be no loss of funds. 

Binance points out that the perpetrator refused to cooperate by providing information on how the photographs would have been obtained and then began to distribute them to the public and the media. 

However, the company claims that there are inconsistencies between the published data and those in their system and that the perpetrator did not hack the platform. 

“At the present time, no evidence has been supplied that indicates any KYC images have been obtained from Binance, as these images do not contain the digital watermark imprinted by our system”. 

As already reported in the past, the platform automatically adds a watermark on all the stored images of its customers, allowing for the verification in similar hacking cases. 

The images published by the perpetrator would not contain Binance’s watermark and the exchange team is still trying to identify the true source of these images. 

According to the company, the published images seem to be dated February 2018, when Binance signed a supply contract with third parties for KYC verification. In addition, they claim that the published images are in fact the same as those put into circulation in January 2019.

The relevant law enforcement agencies have already been informed about the situation and the company states that it will work with them closely to prosecute the suspect. 

In addition, Binance has decided to offer a bounty of up to 25 BTC, or approximately $290,000, to those who will provide “information to help identify this person and allow us to pursue the individual through legal action”. 

 

Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli

Class 1975, Marco teaches web-technologies and is an online writer specializing in cryptocurrencies. He founded ilBitcoin.news, and his YouTube channel has more than 11 thousand subscribers.

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