Hackers steal US$41 million worth of bitcoin from Binance exchange

Binance exchange gets compromised 7000 BTC worth $40 million withdrawn by hackers

One of the world's top cryptocurrency trading platforms has confirmed that a hack resulted in the loss of 7,000 bitcoin this week, equivalent to more than $40 million.

The hackers used multiple techniques, including phishing attacks and computer viruses to reach Binance and their hot wallets, where they kept the funds to manage the daily operation of the exchange. More than half that total, or $950 million, was taken from exchanges like Binance and wallets that allow people to store digital currencies.

After the attack, Zhao said his team has begun to converse with exchanges to see if the funds can be rescued, or if the Bitcoins stolen can be blocked from further operations.

"The transaction (was) structured in a way that passed our existing security checks". The hackers were unable to access the Binance cold storage-the off-line wallets where the majority of funds are kept.

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Bnance said the withdrawal set off multiple alarms in the system. "We stopped all withdrawals immediately after that", the statement said.

As it stands, it looks like the hackers have got away with the heist, though we suspect there will be some joint cyber task force looking at tracking them down.

Theft remains a major problem for the emerging cryptocurrency sector, with high profile hacks alarming regulators and raising questions for larger investors over whether digital coins can be safely stored and traded.

Binance, founded in 2017 and led by Changpeng Zhao, said online that a "large scale security breach" had been found Tuesday at around 5:15 p.m.

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Binance said it had not yet uncovered the full extent of the loss, and other accounts may be affected.

While the company investigates the breach, all deposits and withdrawals will remain suspended, but trading will not be affected.

After all, 7,000 BTC is hardly chump change, and the fact that it all came from a single account suggests that it most likely belonged to an institutional investor/trader or a bitcoin whale.

Known as a "reorg, ' the plan, which Binance discussed with Bitcoin Core contributors and others, formed an area of controversy, with all parties eventually understanding that to 'edit" the Bitcoin blockchain would require a giant consensus effort.

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Bitcoin's price dropped roughly four per cent after the news broke, but given the overall volatility of the cryptocurrency market, it's hard to link the drop to the cyberattack.

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