Binance, one of the world's largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchange services, has been hacked, and thousands of bitcoins were stolen.
The company has confirmed that the cybercriminals made off with 7,000 bitcoins which, at current prices, translates to roughly $41 million.
All deposits and withdrawals are suspended for a week, until the company investigates. Users can, however, still trade on the site, unaffected.
Announcing the news of the hack, the company said hackers used a number of different techniques to steal the funds, including phishing, viruses and “other attacks”.
Given that the hackers managed to pull the funds out without triggering Binance’s security protocols, some people believe this may have been an inside job.
“The hackers had the patience to wait, and execute well-orchestrated actions through multiple seemingly independent accounts at the most opportune time,” Binance said in a statement.
“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. Once executed, the withdrawal triggered various alarms in our system. We stopped all withdrawals immediately after that.”
Binance has a specific fund, called Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU), which it will use to cover the losses, so users should not be affected.
Some addresses that are linked to the hack have already been identified and locked, but not all of them, it was said.
Bitcoin’s price dropped roughly four per cent after the news broke, but given the overall volatility of the cryptocurrency market, it’s hard to link the drop to the cyberattack.
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