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Binance Blackmailed by Hacker, Dumps Hundreds of KYC documents

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August 8, 2019 | 

Darryn Pollock |  0 Comments| 

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Binance, one of the world’s biggest and most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, is under threat from a hacker that is currently releasing hundreds of Know Your Customer documents for the public to see. 

The hacker states these documents came about as a result of the well publicized May hack of Binance which led to 7,000 BTC being stolen, but he also maintains that he was not part of the hack. Rather, this hacker, under the pseudonym “Bnatov Platon” hacked the hackers to obtain this information.

Planton states that he has been in negotiations with Binance for months now offering to give up the details on the May hacker in exchange for a 300 BTC bounty, however, when the exchange would not pay out, he released the images.

Binance maintains that these released images have not come directly from their exchange, and probably originated from a third-party vendor who they contracted to help them with their KYC in February of 2018. 

Old images?

On Wednesday, in a telegram group, the hacker Planton began releasing KYC images allegedly from Binance with many of them being dated from February 2018. Planton maintains that they are images he hacked from a Binance insider that was at the helm of the May attack, but Binance believes otherwise. 

Because the images are older, Binance believes they are part of a data breach set that was exposed earlier this year. In January, another darknet hacker began releasing images of KYC documents from cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance customers. 

However, back then, these images were determined to not have come from the exchanges as they lacked an invisible watermark. Now, the same images being leaked by Planton are also lacking those watermarks leading Binance to believe they are old images. 

Not negotiating with extortionists

It appears that Planton and Binance have been negotiating for some time now as the hacker claims to know who was behind the May attacks of Binance and was willing to divulge them, for a fee of 300 BTC.

However, Binance, suspicious of the hacker’s data, was not ready to make a deal and thus the negotiations broke down. Planton maintains his intentions were to bring justice to Binance and their hack, but when he was met with resistance, his tact changed.

The hacker, on releasing these images, now claims that he is doing so as a warning to Binance customers. He states that it was an insider that got away with the 7000 BTC in May, and that part of that hack also saw as much as 60,000 sets of KYC data also stolen.

Pressure on Binance

Despite the claims of the hacker, and whether he is being truthful or not about the origin of the leaked data, there is huge pressure on Binance to smooth this situation over. Data breaches are serious business, and even if these originated from a third-party vendor, there is still some explaining to do.

More concerning thought for the exchange would be if this data did indeed come from the May hack, and if it was through an insider that purported the hack. Binance has garnered a trusted reputation and would not fair well if there was evidence of such a major hack coming from the inside. 

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