Binance: Up to 25 BTC reward for information to help identify KYC blackmailer
"No evidence has been supplied that indicates any KYC images have been obtained from Binance."
"An unidentified individual has threatened and harassed us, demanding 300 BTC in exchange for withholding 10,000 photos that bear similarity to Binance KYC data. We are still investigating this case for legitimacy and relevancy. After refusing to cooperate and continuing with this extortion, this individual has begun distributing the data to the public and to media outlets," Binance says.
Binance believes it's part of the same dataset that was revealed earlier this year and parts of which started circulating in January 2019. The data does not include the digital watermarks the Binance system imprints, so it doesn't believe the information was taken from the exchange.
Instead, it may have come from a third-party KYC verification vendor that Binance, and likely other exchanges, utilised last year, Binance says. It was led to this conclusion by the fact that all the images made public so far appear to be dated February 2018, which was when Binance contracted the third party.
"Currently, we are investigating with the third-party vendor for more information. We are continuing to investigate and will keep you informed," Binance says.
"Our security team is hard at work pursuing all possible leads in an attempt to identify the source of these images."
The hacker claims to have KYC information from multiple exchanges, but when asked to provide irrefutable proof, they refused.
"Later, they went to the press under false pretenses, posing as a white hat with good intentions," Binance adds.
"If you are able to provide any information to help identify this person and allow us to pursue the individual through legal action, we will offer a reward of up to 25 BTC, dependent on the relevance of the data supplied."
Information can be provided by opening a Binance support ticket.
At present exchange rates, 25 BTC is about US$287,500 and may be part of the $10 million equivalent Binance set aside "in crypto reserves for future bounty awards against any illegal hacking attempts on Binance".
Disclosure: The author holds BNB and BTC at the time of writing.
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