Crypto-exchange Binance claims it wasn’t hacked

It was a phishing attack, and not a hack.

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The typically volatile cryptocurrency market appeared quite calm in the past week, with Bitcoin slowly clawing its way back up from its February lows, when its price briefly went as far down as $6,150. 

But that all came to a halt in the past two days, with Bitcoin plummeting from a high of $11,673 on Tuesday to $9,734 on Thursday. 

The price drop can be attributed to news of increased SEC regulations for crypto-exchanges and a rumored hack of popular, China-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance after a number of users reported their accounts being drained. 

On Thursday, Binance addressed the rumors with an official blog post. According to the exchange, there was no hack; instead, what happened was a coordinated phishing attack which was largely thwarted by Binance’s automatic risk management system. 

It appears that the hackers used login credentials obtained earlier by luring users onto a fake version of the Binance site (see example below). Then, on Wednesday, they used hacked users’ accounts to drive up the price of a relatively illiquid coin called Viacoin (ticker: VIA) and syphoned the gains into a number of accounts under their control. 


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