Bitcoin exchange Binance has denied rumours that it was hacked, after cybercriminals attempted to steal cryptocurrency from users’ accounts.
The popular Chinese exchange says it detected “abnormal” trading activity over a two-minute period on March 7, which prompted it to halt all withdrawals.
“This was part of a large scale phishing and stealing attempt,” Binance wrote in a blog post. “So far: All funds are safe and no funds have been stolen.”
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It says hackers managed to collect people’s account credentials over an extended period of time, by tricking them into visiting a malicious site designed to look like the official Binance exchange.
“After acquiring these user accounts, the hacker then simply created a trading API key for each account but took no further actions, until yesterday,” Binance added.
“Yesterday, within the aforementioned 2 minute period, the hackers used the API keys, placed a large number of market buys on the VIA/BTC market, pushing the price high, while 31 pre-deposited accounts were there selling VIA at the top. This was an attempt to move the BTC from the phished accounts to the 31 accounts. Withdrawal requests were then attempted from these accounts immediately afterwards.”
The company says that none of the withdrawals went through, and that the VIA coins deposited by the hackers were also frozen.
“Not only did the hacker not steal any coins out, their own coins have also been withheld,” it said. The temporary withdrawal suspension has now been lifted.
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