Binance reports hack of 7,000 bitcoins


HONG KONG • Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said hackers withdrew 7,000 bitcoins worth about US$40 million (RM166 million) via a single transaction in a “large-scale security breach”, the latest in a long line of thefts in the digital currency space.

The hackers used a “variety of techniques” including phishing and viruses to obtain a large amount of user data, Binance said in a post on its website.

There may be additional accounts that have been affected, but not yet identified, Binance said. The largest digital tokens including bitcoin slid about 3% after the disclosure, then recovered most of the drop.

The company will use its Secure Asset Fund for Users, an emergency insurance fund, to cover the incident in full and no user funds will be affected, it said.

The transaction was limited to Binance’s BTC hot wallet, which contains about 2% of the company’s bitcoin holdings, according to the post. Other wallets are secure and unharmed, the exchange said.

The 7,000 bitcoins are worth roughly US$40 million, based on current bitcoin composite pricing calculated by Bloomberg.

Bitcoin pared its decline to 0.5% as of 10:53am in London yesterday, after earlier dropping as much as 3.1% from Tuesday.

“We must conduct a thorough security review. The security review will include all parts of our systems and data,” according to Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng.

Binance est imates the review will take a week, during which time all deposits and withdrawals will remain suspended. — Bloomberg