A really innovative “hack” on Binance

Leading crypto exchange Binance recently froze exchanges and withdrawals for several hours, terrifying the markets. In the end they reversed suspicious transactions and resumed operations, like the class act they continually prove themselves to be. They’ve also offered a reward for catching the hacker.

Here’s what happened:

A lot of people use publicly available bots to do automatic trading for them.

They give the bots access to log in to their Binance accounts. Since you can restrict fund withdrawals under a different set of security measures, a malicious bot would not be able to steal your funds. They can only trade.

So what’s an innovative hacker to do?

One popular trading bot recently went bad. Instead of withdrawing people’s money, it sold all their crypto currencies, and bought an obscure crypto currency called Via Coin. This happened simultaneously on many accounts, and so the price of Via Coin spiked, presumably allowing hackers to sell the sudden price jump.