Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has managed to recover around 60% of the 7,000 bitcoins it lost in a hack last month.
The company says it has been able to track down and return around 4,040 BTC from the hackers’ wallets. The exchange said it used a combination of “taint analysis, blockchain analysis, and wallet tracking” to find and seize the hacker’s ill-gotten gains. The remaining 2,960 BTC is still being held by the hackers and Binance is working with law enforcement agencies to try and get it back.
This is a major win for Binance and will help to restore confidence in the exchange after the hack sent shockwaves through the crypto community. It is also a reminder that even though crypto exchanges are often targeted by hackers, they can also be quite resilient.
So far, Binance has not said how it was able to track down and return the stolen BTC. But the company’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, did tweet that the “hacker didn’t spend any.” This suggests that Binance may have used some form of blockchain analysis to trace the hackers’ wallets. It is also possible that the hackers made a mistake that allowed Binance to track them down. Either way, this is a major coup for Binance and should help to boost confidence in the exchange following the attack.
The hack took place on May 7th and saw the hackers make off with 7,000 BTC. At the time, this was worth around $40 million. The recovery process began when Binance noticed that a large number of withdrawal requests were being made from a single account. The team quickly froze all withdrawals and contacted the relevant exchanges to try and trace where the stolen funds were going. The attack led to Binance suspending all withdrawals and deposits for a week while it carried out an investigation. It has since resumed normal operations but is still working to track down the remaining stolen BTC.
The fact that Binance has been able to recover any of the stolen BTC is quite impressive. Most hacks result in the loss of all the crypto that is stolen. So, for Binance to have recovered 60% of the stolen BTC is a major achievement. The hack has also resulted in a number of changes to how Binance operates, including the introduction of new security measures and the creation of a $10 million fund to reimburse users who lost money in the attack.
It is also worth noting that this is not the first time that Binance has been hacked. In July 2018, the exchange lost around $30 million worth of crypto to hackers. However, it was able to quickly rebound from that attack and has since become one of the most popular and trusted exchanges in the world.
The news comes as a relief to many in the cryptocurrency community who were worried that the hackers would simply disappear into the ether with their haul. It also serves as a warning to would-be criminals that, even in the largely anonymous world of cryptocurrency, it may only be a matter of time before they are caught.