Binance says it will cover all losses “in full”.
Binance says it will cover all losses “in full”.

Hackers steal $60m from mega-Bitcoin firm

HACKERS  stole nearly $A60 million worth of bitcoins in a single transaction on one of the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, the company has admitted.

The head of Binance said the "large-scale security breach" was accomplished through "a variety of techniques, including phishing, viruses and other attacks".

"The hackers had the patience to wait, and execute well-orchestrated actions through multiple seemingly independent accounts at the most opportune time," Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

"The transaction is structured in a way that passed our existing security checks. It was unfortunate that we were not able to block this withdrawal before it was executed."

Mr Zhao also posted a link to the electronic history of the theft, which shows the hackers swiped more than 7074 bitcoins, worth $A59.5 million.

Mr Zhao said the hackers targeted Binance's "hot wallet", which is connected to the internet and holds about 2 per cent of the exchange's bitcoin holdings.

"All of our other wallets are secure and unharmed," he said.

Binance will cover all losses "in full", but deposits and withdrawals were suspended pending a "thorough security review", which Mr Zhao said would likely take a week.

$60 million is certainly a ‘large scale security breach’.
$60 million is certainly a ‘large scale security breach’.

 

Binance ranks No. 4 worldwide in trading volume over the past 30 days, but a 26 per cent drop in trades downgraded it to No. 13 for the past 24 hours, according to the CoinMarketCap website.

The company was founded in Hong Kong in 2017, but last year announced it was moving to Malta amid a crackdown by Chinese regulators.

Cybercrooks stole around $A2.4 billion in cryptocurrency last year, up more than 400 per cent from 2017, according to security firm CyperTrace.

This article originally appeared on The New York Post and was reproduced with permission