Binance make amends for data hack by offering VIP memberships

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance seems content admitting that it won’t admit any fault in any alleged hack of users’ personal data from last year. There have been reports that thousands of users of the platform have had their Know Your Customer (KYC) data compromised and held for ransom, but Binance continues to play down the claims. It first said the attack didn’t happen, then it said that a third-party company that managed the database last year was at fault, but still tried to argue that the authenticity of the breach was questionable. To try to make amends, though, the company is willing to pay compensation to those affected and is offering to give victims VIP promotions. It seems counter-intuitive, giving that a lifetime VIP membership means a lifetime of potential breaches.

Around 60,000 users were reportedly put at risk by the breach/non-breach. Binance is offering the users the lifetime VIP membership to pay for any inconvenience, but still refuses to take responsibility or admit fault. It explains in a blog post, “As part of our service and commitment to our users, we are actively contacting all potential victims with our guidance on privacy protection and restitution, and highly recommend affected users to apply for new identification documents in their respective region.”

The blog post talks in circles regarding the breach/non-breach. Binance says that “some of the leaked images overlap with images that were processed by a third-party vendor,” which reportedly acknowledges that there was, in fact a breach. However, it also says that “every image processed through Binance for KYC purposes is embedded with a concealed digital watermark, which was notably absent from all of the leaked images.”

The VIP membership comes with “preferential trading fees, support, and more services.” Binance doesn’t add if it includes better security.

A hacker reportedly demanded 300 Bitcoin Core (BTC), worth in the vicinity of $3 million, to not release the images. When Binance refused, certain images were published, ostensibly to try to prove to Binance that the individual wasn’t bluffing. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, while asserting that no hack took place, is willing to pay up to 25 BTC (around $258,000) for information that might lead to the hacker’s identity.

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