Changpeng Zhao CEO of Binance told customers on Thursday the details of a plot by “well organised” hackers to manipulate the market and steal some of its users’ digital coins.
Between 14:58-14:59 London time, “the VIA/BTC market experienced abnormal trading activity,” Binance said, before describing a sophisticated attempt to cause chaos.
The unnamed hackers launched a ‘phishing’ scheme in early January, in which they purchased domain names that closely resembled binance.com, according to the exchange’s investigation. “Many users fell for these traps and phishing attempts,” Binance said.
Hackers had gathered numerous logging details through phishing by using site names that can hardly be discerned as different than the official site:
That two dots Binance would cunningly redirect cryptonians to the official site between January and February. After, of course, it had gathered the logging details. So keeping it all subtle and unnoticeable.
Then, the hackers created trading APIs for each account and decided to strike while there was a flurry of activity yesterday. They use the API keys to place a large number of market buys on VIA/BTC, increasing Via’s price by some 1,000%, while 31 pre-deposited accounts were there selling VIA at the top.
Zhao described what happened next in a tweet:
Additionally, 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. In another exemplery move Zhao tweeted they will donate the frozen coins to charity:
Zhao is known to possess strong technical skills having previously coded high-frequency trading systems for Wall Street, and he was the third employee of Blockchain.info, then CTO at OKCoin.
Zhao also tweeted this afternoon that Binance has more moves up its sleeve to fight against hackers:
Thanks for the compliments. We have another move to fight back against (attempted) thieves, soon. Stay tuned… https://t.co/EvOuVAgp6T
— CZ (not giving crypto away) (@cz_binance) March 9, 2018