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Vicky Sharp
Vicky Sharp

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Binance Halts $5 Million in Funds Linked to Turkish Exchange’s $54 Million Cyberattack

Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, has taken action to halt over $5 million in funds linked to a major cyberattack on the Turkish cryptocurrency exchange BtcTurk.

According to reports, BtcTurk, one of the largest crypto exchanges in Turkey with over 5 million users, announced that it had suffered a cyberattack that affected the cryptocurrencies stored in its hot wallets. While the company stated that the majority of its assets held in cold wallets remain secure, the attack resulted in the loss of funds from 10 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Avalanche.

In response to the incident, Binance CEO Richard Teng revealed that the exchange has been assisting BtcTurk with the investigation and has so far frozen over $5.3 million in stolen funds. Teng stated that Binance's security and investigations teams are working around the clock to protect the ecosystem from bad actors and that they will provide further updates as relevant.

The connection between the BtcTurk attack and the $54 million Avalanche token transfer was highlighted by blockchain sleuth ZachXBT. According to ZachXBT's analysis, suspicious transfers of approximately $54 million in Avalanche tokens were likely linked to the BtcTurk attack. The funds were reportedly moved to exchanges like Binance and Coinbase using the THORChain protocol and then withdrawn as Bitcoin to two separate wallets.

Furthermore, ZachXBT stated that the online casino Sportsbet was also likely hacked for over $3.5 million by the same threat actor, with the funds from the two attacks being commingled. Sportsbet has since announced that transactions on the Bitcoin and Binance Smart Chain networks are currently unavailable, as well as gameplay with Bitcoin and BNB.

The price of Avalanche fell around 10% following the suspicious transfers, though it has since recovered around 5% from its lowest value on the day of the incident.

Binance's swift action in freezing the stolen funds and its collaboration with BtcTurk in the ongoing investigation have been praised by the crypto community. Blockchain security researcher ZachXBT highlighted Binance's efforts in assisting victims and going "out of their way to assist in incident response," in contrast to the often-negative media coverage the exchange receives.

The BtcTurk cyberattack and Binance's response to it underscore the ongoing challenges faced by the cryptocurrency industry in terms of security and the importance of exchanges and the broader ecosystem working together to protect users and their assets. As the crypto market continues to evolve, the need for robust security measures and effective collaboration between industry players will only become more crucial.

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