Hackers have managed to breach the security of one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance, and steal 7,000 Bitcoins on 7 May 2019. The Bitcoins, which were worth over $40 million at the time of the transaction, constitute approximately 2% of all BTC holdings that Binance has on their exchange.
The hack comes several weeks after Binance detailed its plans to become a decentralized exchange after announcing the availability of its own blockchain set to rival Ethereum.
"We have discovered a large scale security breach today, May 7, 2019 at 17:15:24 (UTC). Hackers were able to obtain a large number of user API keys, 2FA codes, and potentially other info. 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 hackers were able to withdraw 7000 BTC in this one transaction: https://www.blockchain.com/btc/tx/e8b406091959700dbffcff30a60b190133721e5c39e89bb5fe23c5a554ab05ea,"
Cryptocurrencies trading suspended
Binance has recently made some in-roads into Africa. During January 2019, the cryptocurrencies exchange appointed Nigeria's Yele Bademosi as Director of Binance Labs to focus on developing the blockchain ecosystem in Africa, as well as sourcing blockchain projects and leading the Lagos chapter of our Incubation Program. Despite also having some customers spread across Africa, Binance also runs several initiatives in Uganda including a charity for children.
Crypto trading on the exchange has been susended as the company, its staff and partners continue to investigate and look to recover the stolen Bitcoins.
"Many security and blockchain analytics firms are actively helping us track the stolen funds. We are also working closely with many exchanges and other service providers to freeze the stolen funds. It already is sort of an alliance. We have some ideas to contribute more on this front after we get over this incident. Mentally, the Binance team is not sad or depressed; on the contrary, we are in fighting mode."