Top crypto exchange Binance announced that it will grant a $200,000 bounty to the investigators who helped indict the cybercriminals who attempted to hack the exchange.
“Sometimes #SAFU takes time,” Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao tweeted. “This took 2 years of effort, with close collaboration with multiple law enforcement agencies globally. But we don’t give up.”
In February 2018, a group of criminals created phishing sites that looked like the Binance website and used them to collect login credentials from many users, Binance reported at the time. On March 7, the black hat hackers used those credentials to stage an attack on the cryptocurrency exchange.
While the attachers did gain access to the phished accounts, Binance reported that it froze all of the stolen funds before they could be withdrawn.
The reason why the firm did not grant the full bounty is that while the information that the investigators sent to the exchange resulted in the U.S. Department of Justice indicting the criminals involved in the attack, they were not arrested:
“Though the suspects remain at large, we decided to award a 200,000 USD bounty to the investigators for their work, with the remaining 50,000 USD to be given once the attackers are in custody.”
After Binance offered the $250,000 bounty, a team of investigators submitted a report containing the identity of one of the attackers and the specifics of the attack. The exchange’s security team sent this report to the United States law enforcement and then continued collaborating with the authorities.
This collaboration resulted in the cybercriminals being indicted by the United States Department of Justice and sanctioned by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, Binance reported in its announcement.
The remaining $50,000 will be paid out when the criminals are arrested.
Not all attempts failed
This is not the only time that ill-intentioned hackers attacked Binance. As Modern Consensus reported in May last year, at the time the exchange was hacked after its 2FA system was compromised and $40 worth of cryptocurrency was stolen.