Twitter was abuzz with news about an individual posting around 10,000 photos with KYC data of Binance users on a Telegram group. Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance first played down the incident by calling it FUD and old news with a new spin.
As the news caught the attention of several news publications, Binance released their official statement on the matter, stating that they were investigating the issue. The official statement read,
“We would like to inform you that 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 his extortion, this individual has begun distributing the data to the public and to media outlets.”
The official statement further clarified that in the ongoing investigation, they have not found any consistency with the data released by the scammer to the one on Biannce’s system. Binance also claimed that there was no evidence that the alleged data had been stolen from Binance network as almost all the leaked photos date back to February 2018.
Binance also clarified that they were using the services of a third-party vendor for the KYC process, indicating that even if the data is legitimate it’s not been taken from the exchange. Binance is also coordinating with its third-party vendor for more information. The scammer has said to claim that he/she is in possession of several KYC information from different exchanges and demanded a ransom of 300 BTC to reveal the source.
Binance has also offered a 25 BTC reward for anyone who can provide any information about the scammer that can lead to his prosecution. The CEO Changpeng Zhao appealed to the community to not give any attention to such scammers and rather fight them by reporting the group and exiting it.
I would like to add, by joining or spreading the link of the telegram group, you are helping malicious hackers (at least giving attention). What we should do as an industry is to fight them. Stay on the positive side. Report the group, then leave. ???????????? https://t.co/Cvxks2S69i
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) August 7, 2019