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Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance Blackmailed Over User Data Breach

Binance (the cryptocurrency exchange) is being blackmailed by attackers that state to have authorization to identity documents and customer passport. In an interview, Binance claimed that “an anonymous person has harassed and threatened us, asking for 300 BTC in exchange for taking custody of 10,000 pics that bear resemblance to Binance KYC info.”

Some of the KYC info—that is photographic KYC info—has started flowing online after Binance denied paying the 300 BTC, equivalent to almost $3.5 Million. The info has been distributed on messaging app Telegram in an anonymous group. As per media, some 400 pictures of users holding official documents and passports have been shared. Last week a message was sent by the admin of the group, claiming that “Uploading will be carried on later.”

On the other hand, Binance claimed to the media that there are “inconsistencies” when evaluating this info to the info in its system, and currently, “no proof has been provided that shows any KYC pictures have been received from Binance,” majorly because the pictures do not have the imprinted digital watermark by its system. The firm did claim that the pictures seem to be from February last year, a time when Binance outsourced its KYC verification operations to a 3rd-party merchant.

On a related note, if you were speculating why it can be dangerous for governments to gather traveler pictures majorly on connected systems, well, here is the reason. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the US has verified that attackers stole traveler pictures from a subcontractor, comprising pics of people leaving or entering the nation as well as their license plates’ copies. In an interview, CBP claimed that the subcontractor had “breached mandatory privacy and security standard” by transferring the info to its own network.

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