Hackers steal $40 million of Bitcoin from crypto exchange Binance

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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been struck by hackers who were able to make off with $40 million worth of Bitcoin.

The exchange suffered what it describes as a "large scale security breach" in which attackers were able to obtain "a large number of user API keys, 2FA codes, and potentially other info". CEO Zhao Changpeng says that 7,000 BTC were withdrawn in a single transaction and the attack which was perpetrated using a variety of methods.

Binance says: "The hackers used a variety of techniques, including phishing, viruses and other attacks. We are still concluding all possible methods used. There may also be additional affected accounts that have not been identified yet".

The BTC hot wallet that was hit contained about 2 percent of Binance's total Bitcoin holdings, and the exchange assures people that all other wallets remain secure and unharmed.

In a post about the incident, Zhao Changpeng says:

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. Once executed, the withdrawal triggered various alarms in our system. We stopped all withdrawals immediately after that.

Binance will use the #SAFU fund to cover this incident in full. No user funds will be affected.

We must conduct a thorough security review. The security review will include all parts of our systems and data, which is large. We estimate this will take about ONE WEEK. We will post updates frequently as we progress.

Most importantly, deposits and withdrawals will need to REMAIN SUSPENDED during this period of time. We beg for your understanding in this difficult situation.

We will continue to enable trading, so that you may adjust your positions if you wish. Please also understand that the hackers may still control certain user accounts and may use those to influence prices in the meantime. We will monitor the situation closely. But we believe with withdrawals disabled, there isn’t much incentive for hackers to influence markets.

In this difficult time, we strive to maintain transparency and would be appreciative of your support.

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