• Binance has frozen over $5.3 million linked to a cyberattack on Turkish exchange BtcTurk, which involved the theft of $54 million worth of Avalanche tokens.
  • The incident, investigated by blockchain expert ZachXBT, has highlighted ongoing security challenges and the broader impact of cryptocurrency scams.

In a decisive move, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has frozen over $5.3 million linked to a significant cyberattack on Turkish exchange BtcTurk. The attack, which involved unauthorized transfers of Avalanche tokens from ten of BtcTurk’s hot wallets, was detected over the weekend, prompting immediate action from both exchanges.

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Swift Action Ensures Financial Stability

In response to the attack, BtcTurk reassured its users that the majority of its assets, stored in cold wallets, remained untouched. The exchange emphasized its financial stability, despite the breach. Richard Teng, CEO of Binance, confirmed that Binance is actively assisting BtcTurk in the ongoing investigation. “Our investigations & security teams work around the clock as part of our proactive efforts to protect the ecosystem from bad actors,” Teng stated on X.

$54 Million in Avalanche Tokens Linked to the Cyberattack

The incident drew the attention of blockchain investigator ZachXBT, who conducted a thorough analysis of the transactions. His findings revealed that approximately $54 million worth of Avalanche tokens were linked to the cyberattack. These tokens were transferred to various exchanges, including Binance and Coinbase, using the THORChain protocol before being converted into Bitcoin and moved to two separate wallets. The timing of these transactions coincided with BtcTurk’s public disclosure of the attack.

Further investigations suggest that the Avalanche wallet involved in these transfers belonged to a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange, strengthening the connection between the stolen funds and BtcTurk.

Suspicion of Broader Hacking Activity

Adding another layer to the investigation, ZachXBT raised concerns about a potential hack on the online casino Sportsbet. He speculated that the same threat actor behind the BtcTurk attack might have stolen over $3.5 million from Sportsbet, possibly combining the funds from both incidents. However, Sportsbet has yet to comment on these allegations.

Market Impact and Recovery

The cyberattack caused a temporary 10% decline in the price of Avalanche, though the token has since recovered approximately 5% of its value from its lowest point on Saturday. This fluctuation underscores the broader impact such cyberattacks can have on cryptocurrency markets.

Ongoing Challenges with Cryptocurrency Scams

Cryptocurrency scams continue to thrive, particularly on platforms like X. An analysis by Scam Sniffer, a web3 anti-scam company, highlighted that nearly $50 million is lost each month due to account impersonation scams. The platform’s paid verification service, introduced under Elon Musk’s ownership, has been criticized for potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing genuine accounts from fraudulent ones.

Binance co-founder Yi He and rapper 50 Cent, who recently fell victim to a hacking incident promoting a fraudulent meme coin, have both voiced concerns about the prevalence of crypto scams on X. These incidents highlight the ongoing need for robust security measures and increased vigilance within the cryptocurrency community.