Business 8 March 2018

Cecille de Jesus

Hackers pumped up Viacoin using Binance customers’ funds

Binance CEO says “all funds are safe,” and that the hackers actually lost funds of their own.

Yesterday, Binance had to freeze withdrawals after noticing some suspicious activity in the exchange. Users saw a huge leap in buy orders for a little known cryptocurrency called Viacoin (VIA), prompting Binance to investigate.

Hackers pumped up Viacoin using Binance customers' funds

It was revealed that hackers managed to infiltrate users’ accounts, and use their funds to pump up VIA. According to Binance, the victims were those who were using a particular trading bot which may have been compromised, but that Binance itself has not been hacked.

“We are investigating reports of some users having issues with their funds. Our team is aware and investigating the issue as we speak.

As of this moment, the only confirmed victims have registered API keys (to use with trading bots or otherwise). There is no evidence of the Binance platform being compromised.

Please remain patient and we will provide an update as quickly as possible,” Binance wrote on their Reddit subchannel.

Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng was very quick to address the issue, which caused some panic in the crypto market. “All funds are safe. There were irregularities in trading activity, automatic alarms triggered.  Some accounts may have been compromised by phishing from before.  We are still investigating.  All funds are safe.”

He later said that they are reversing the suspicious trades. “We have localized the irregular trades, they will be reversed. All funds are safe, thanks to the fast alarm. Please learn to secure your accounts against phishing,” he tweeted.

Users are now debating on how the hack could have been pulled off despite API keys being IP-locked, with some saying it would have been impossible given the strict security measures they enforce on their accounts

Hackers pumped up Viacoin using Binance customers' funds

Meanwhile, Viacoin denies any involvement in the pump. In a Tweet, echoing Binance’s theory that an infected trading bot may be to blame, or perhaps a phishing scam. They added that Viacoin may have been targeted “due to our thin orderbook and reasonably low marketcap.”

At the same time that the hack was instigated, BTC was seen crashing.

Hackers pumped up Viacoin using Binance customers' funds

Shortly after the ruckus, Zhao tweeted an image explaining how some users may have fallen for a phishing scam.

After reversing the unauthorized trades, he said that the hackers even lost some coins of their own, which he will donate to charity.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BSV is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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