TL;DR: Binance claims extortion, as according to the popular exchange “an unidentified individual has threatened and harassed us, demanding 300 BTC in exchange for withholding 10,000 photos that bear similarity to Binance KYC data. We are still investigating this case for legitimacy and relevancy.”
Binance Claims Extortion, FUD in KYC Data Hack
In an open letter to its customers, Binance claims extortion was the main motive behind recent online disclosures reported to be personal information gathered from its users. “After refusing to cooperate and continuing with this extortion, this individual has begun distributing the data to the public and to media outlets,” the exchange insisted.
Earlier this year, Binance blamed a third-party vendor and high volume for what appeared to be a hack of its users’ photo identification records. More recently, someone claiming to be connected with the hack spread images to the press similar to those, while also attempting to negotiate with the company for what amounts to a kind of ransom to make it stop. “At the present time,” the exchange clarified, “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.”
Reportedly, the hacker also claimed to have similar know-your-customer (KYC) information from other exchanges, including Kraken. “When asked to prove the source of the data, the individual demanded 300 BTC and refused to supply irrefutable evidence of their findings,” Binance stressed. “Later, they went to the press under false pretenses, posing as a white hat with good intentions. The relevant law enforcement agencies have been contacted and we will be working closely with them to pursue this person.”
The exchange is offering a bounty of up to 25 BTC (roughly $287,500 at prices as of publication) for information leading to identifying the person(s) involved in the extortion/hack attempt.
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
CONTINUE THE SPICE and check out our piping hot VIDEOS. Our podcast, The CoinSpice Podcast, has amazing guests. Follow CoinSpice on Twitter. Join our Telegram feed to make sure you never miss a post. Drop some BCH at the merch shop — we’ve got some spicy shirts for men and women. Don’t forget to help spread the word about CoinSpice on social media.