Hacker Keeps Leaking Binance KYC Files
Reportedly, the hacker attempted to negotiate a ransom with Binance, but after negotiations fell apart, he renewed the leaking of data.
Getting verified on an exchange is unsafe - risking the leaking of sensitive data. For Binance, the most recent leak keeps endangering customers, as the attacker keeps posting selfies and passports with full information.
The attacker, recently launching a new Twitter handle as Bnatov Platon, sent out a mass invitation to a Telegram group, where more personal KYC verification photos are shared. His rationale is that he did not want to sell the data or receive money, but to warn about the risky practices of Binance. On Thursday, the leaked data are spreading around the crypto sphere, unfortunately still exposing sensitive information with non-blurred originals.
The exchange is currently investigating the matter, stating that the leak was possibly faked. However, some of the data have been verified by a Coindesk investigation, matching real persons with the leaked photos.
The Telegram channel pictures are dated from February 2018, a time period when Binance was overwhelmed by demands for new registrations, and reportedly hired a third-party KYC agency. Most of the pictures leaked show the date, 24.02.2018, and passports show multiple nationalities affected, with traders from China, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Switzerland and the Russian Federation.
Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, has called users to report the telegram group and not distribute the information further:
Weiss Ratings estimated that as much as 60,000 traders may be affected:
At this point, leaks from Kraken and Bittrex have been revealed, both accidental and intentional. Crypto projects rarely rely on blockchain startups, which have attempted to offer encrypted KYC screenings and a blockchain-based self-identity. Instead, exchanges are still using either live operators, or third-party screenings.
Despite the leak, Binance Coin (BNB) is up 10% overnight on highly active trading, moving to $30.46. Binance is one of the preferred exchanges, and a leading market for Bitcoin (BTC) trading, and still requiring KYC for higher volumes.