Binance Gives $200K to Investigators Who Helped Identify Actors Behind 2018 Attack

The exchange has awarded a bounty of $200,000 to private investigators who helped now-indicted bad actors who attacked the exchange in 2018.

AccessTimeIconNov 11, 2020 at 4:51 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:29 a.m. UTC
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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has followed through with its pledge to reward anyone helping bring about the arrest of the bad actors who attacked the exchange in March 2018 and stole from users in a phishing campaign.

Over a period of months, unknown persons set up phishing websites that mimicked Binance's own, and collected users' login details to attempt to access accounts and breach the platform.

The exchange announced Wednesday that it has now awarded a bounty of $200,000 to private investigators, whom it did not identify, for providing a report identifying one of the alleged attackers and providing information on how the attack was carried out.

Binance made the decision to hand over the promised bounty after two individuals said to be responsible for the phishing attempt were charged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) in February, and also sanctioned by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in September.

The security team at Binance had passed on the investigators' findings to U.S. law enforcement, along with "other information and indicators," the exchange said. It also work with U.S. agencies to help identify the suspects.

The DoJ and OFAC named Danil Potekhin and Dimitrii Kamasavidi, both from Russia, as the alleged perpetrators of the phishing campaign. Further, the Justice Department accuses both of also having carried out similar attacks on the Bittrex, Poloniex and Gemini cryptocurrency exchanges resulting in combined losses of $17 million.

A direct attack on Binance by the attackers saw no losses from the exchange, according to a blog post at the time.

However, around 566 bitcoin (now worth around $8.8 million) was taken from 142 users through the phishing campaign's fake sites between Dec. 19, 2017, and March 2, 2018, according to the DoJ indictment. At least some of the cryptocurrency was placed in a Bitfinex account "controlled by Kamasavidi."

Binance further said it would award the private investigators another $50,000 once the attackers have been placed in custody.

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