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 this extortion, this individual has begun distributing the data to the public and to media outlets.
First and foremost, there are inconsistencies when comparing this data to the data in our system. At the present time, no evidence has been supplied that indicates any KYC images have been obtained from Binance, as these images do not contain the digital watermark imprinted by our system. With that said, our security team is hard at work pursuing all possible leads in an attempt to identify the source of these images.
On initial review of the images made public, they all appear to be dated from February of 2018, at which time Binance had contracted a third-party vendor for KYC verification in order to handle the high volume of requests at that time. Currently, we are investigating with the third-party vendor for more information. We are continuing to investigate and will keep you informed.
We believe this is the same data set that was covered in previous news articles, such as: https://decrypt.co/4648/binance-kraken-exchange-data-haul. The hacker also claims he has KYC information from multiple exchanges. When asked to prove the source of the data, the individual demanded 300 BTC and refused to supply irrefutable evidence of their findings. Later, they went to the press under false pretenses, posing as a white hat with good intentions. The relevant law enforcement agencies have been contacted and we will be working closely with them to pursue this person.
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. You may submit this information by opening a support ticket at https://support.binance.com.
Lastly, unrelated to this, please be wary of any fraudsters who may impersonate Binance customer service and request you to withdraw your funds.
Please remember that protecting our users’ privacy and keeping our systems secure, including the funds stored within, is our utmost priority. We have numerous measures in place to ensure the safe-keeping of our users’ information, and we will continue to maintain the highest degree of transparency while serving our community.
We will keep all of you updated with any developments throughout our investigation and we are grateful for your continued trust and support.
Binance Security Team