On Tuesday, May 7, the world’s largest crypto-exchange Binance, announced that it had discovered a serious breach of security systems and that attackers could gain access to user API keys and two-factor authentication codes. As a result, hackers stole more than 7,000 bitcoins (about $ 41 million), according to a transaction published in a security alert.
The embezzlement of funds occurred a few hours after the general director of the Binance Changpeng Zhao posted a tweet about carrying out unplanned server maintenance. According to Binance, the scammers only got to the hot Binance wallets, which contain about 2% of the total bitcoins. However, it is possible the exchange has not yet identified all the affected accounts, Zhao said.
Over the next week, Binance will conduct a “thorough security review” covering its systems and data. It is important that due to payments from the Secure Asset Fund (SAFU Fund) all stolen funds will be fully refunded to customers. This fund is stored in its own cold wallet and is not accessible to hackers.
The cryptocurrency market quickly reacted to this event with a rapid drop in prices. However, the decline was of a short-term nature and at the moment prices are returning to previous levels.