Earlier today, the crypto industry erupted into a clamor. Users on Twitter and some on Telegram were claiming that Binance, one of the world’s most powerful companies dealing with Bitcoin, was hacked for a swath of know-your-customer (KYC) data.
As a result, thousands of individuals in the industry piled into one Telegram group, which claimed to have the leaked data, which primarily consisted of photos of identification, users’ faces, and an image that mentioned Binance.
Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the Twitter-active chief executive of Binance, was quick to try and dispel the rumors, claiming that his company was not hacked, but was still investigating.
After a number of hours, the firm came out with a statement, which was published to its in-house blog.
In it, Binance claimed that this whole debacle is related to an attempted ransom attack on Binance, during which an unidentified individual threatened the exchange with 10,000 Binance KYC photos, asking for 300 BTC to withhold their publishing.
Binance explains that it has told the individual that it isn’t and will not cooperate, hence the data being pushed to the aforementioned Telegram group.
The data itself, according to the exchange, is unlikely directly from Binance. It was written:
First and foremost, there are inconsistencies when comparing this data to the data in our system. At the present time, no evidence has been supplied that indicates any KYC images have been obtained from Binance, as these images do not contain the digital watermark imprinted by our system.
It was added that the KYC images invoking the name of Binance is a sign that a third-party KYC vendor that worked with the exchange was hacked, not Binance itself.
Binance concluded the statement by asserting that its goal is to protect user privacy and ensure the safety of its systems.