Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, has appealed to the public for help in catching the hackers that attempted to steal money from it last week. The company is offering $250,000 in return for information leading to an arrest.
On the 7th of March, 31 accounts of Binance customers suddenly began buying Viacoin, a relatively low-value cryptocurrency, with Bitcoin. As a result of this, the price of Viacoin rose dramatically. The buyers then attempted to sell the tokens, but were prevented from doing so by an automatic block mechanism in the Binance system.
The accounts were customer accounts that had been compromised at some point between January and the date of the attack. The hackers had collected information quietly over this period and waited for the ideal moment before making their move. This suggests an organised, professional operation.
The thieves may not have been able to get away with the money, but the effect of the event on the market was drastic. Binance handles over 2 billion USD in cryptocurrency trading on a daily basis, and doubts as to its security are apt to cause waves.
Binance used the online publisher Medium to make the offer. The exchange says that the reward will be given to the first person to supply information leading to the arrest of the hackers, but it could be split if more than one source of information is used. The reward will be paid in Binance Coin, the exchange’s native token.
Interestingly, Binance adds that it has put aside $10 million as reward money in case of future hacks. This could be seen as a pessimistic attitude or a pragmatic one, depending on your point of view, but what is clear is that it is an attempt on the part of the exchange to give a warning to hackers, and some reassurance to its shaken customers.