Binance, the world’s number one cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume is offering a 25 BTC ($297,000) reward to anyone with relevant clues that could help it fish out the extortionist that has been spreading people’s identity verification data all over the internet, claiming the images were obtained from the exchange via a hack, according to a press release on August 7, 2019.
Binance Declare War on Extortionist
As reported by BTCManager on August 7, 2019, leading bitcoin trading venue, Binance, announced it had been contacted by an unidentified person that claimed to have the know-your-customer (KYC) verification details of at least 10,000 Binance customers and would publicly leak the entire data if the exchange failed to transfer 300 BTC (over $3 million) to a specified wallet address.
“An unidentified person has threatened and harassed us, demanding 300 BTC in order not to leak 10,000 photos that bear similarity to Binance KYC data. After refusing to meet the demands of the blackmailer, the individual has begun distributing the data to the public and to media outlets,” declared Binance at the time.
Though the exchange claims it has already notified the relevant law enforcement agencies of the scenario, it has gone ahead to announce another $290,000 reward for anyone with solid information about the individual. Binance stated:
“If you are able to provide any info to help identify this person and allow us to pursue the individual through legal action, we will offer a reward of up to 25 BTC, dependent on the relevance of the data supplied.“
Despite the efforts of cryptocurrency market participants to safeguard their platforms against security breaches orchestrated by rogue actors, hacks and heists remain unsolved mysteries of the cryptospace.
Earlier in May 2019, Binance was targeted by cyberpunks who successfully stole 7,000 BTC ($40 million at the time) from its coffers.
Interestingly, it appears the Binance hackers may have stolen more than just cryptocurrencies as the cyberpunk claims the leaked KYC data was obtained from the exchange during the May security breach.
Though Binance has refuted that claim, stating categorically that its digital watermark was conspicuously absent on all the images in possession of the bad actor, the fact remains that cryptocurrency exchanges still have a lot of work to do to be free from these ugly incidents.