Binance awards $200K to investigators who identified phishing campaign attackers

Binance awards $200K to investigators who identified phishing campaign attackers

November 12, 2020

In an official announcement, cryptocurrency exchange Binance, said it has offered the promised bounty of $200,000 to certain private investigators, who remain unnamed, for compiling a report that identified one of the alleged attackers and provided information on the specifics of the attack. 

Earlier, the exchange had decided to reward anyone who “supplies information that leads to the legal arrest” of the hackers involved in the “attempted hacking” incident on Binance on 7 March 2018.

Meanwhile, US Department of Justice (DoJ) charged two individuals said to be responsible for the phishing attempt in February. These persons were also sanctioned by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in September. Binance claimed that “these fraudsters” created phishing sites that mimicked the Binance website, and allegedly collected login credentials from many users. Binance further alleged that the persons involved in the phishing scam then used those credentials to stage the attack. 

DoJ and OFAC charges identified two Russian citizens named Danil Potekhin and Dimitrii Kamasavidi, and accused them of the phishing campaign. The individuals have also been accused of having carried out such attacks on crypto exchanges Bittrex, Poloniex and Gemini that caused combined losses of $17 million.

With regard to the attack on Binance itself, the exchange had earlier announced that the “phishing and stealing attempt” did not result in the loss of funds. However, according to the DoJ indictment, around 566 bitcoin was taken from 142 users through the phishing campaign’s fake sites between 19 December 2017, and 2 March 2018.

Now, the exchange has said that the Binance security team passed off the report and other information and indicators to US law enforcement. It also said that in the following months Binance “worked closely” with the authorities to help identify the attackers. It further said that the culprits have been identified and sanctioned, and are currently being pursued because of this “cooperation.” With regard to the bounty Binance also said: 

Though the suspects remain at large, we decided to award a 200,000 USD bounty to the investigators for their work, with the remaining 50,000 USD to be given once the attackers are in custody.

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