9 Oct, 2019

Binance API exploited to pump Viacoin

What a turbulent day it was for Cryptocurrencies! Here’s what happened on Binance yesterday:

1. A bunch of user accounts were used to buy a relatively unknown coin called ViaCoin which had a market cap of about $63 Million. These users did not authorise the purchase.
2. A massive amount of buy orders in a short span of time increased the price of VIA. The price jumped from 0.00025 BTC to 0.025 BTC in just two minutes. That’s a jump of 100,000% in a short span of time! The jump was so huge that the normal movement is looks completely flat.

At the time, users were confused and there was a brief FUD of a Binance Hack. Binance is one of the largest exchange in the world and a potential hack would definitely be devastating. But Binance has always been quick to act and transparent.

A few hours later, Binance released an official statement that a bunch of users were phished and their API keys were stolen to manipulate VIACoin’s market. But Binance had enough safety measures in place that no one was affected and everything is back to normal. Here’s how the whole went went down:

Though everything has been back to normal, it is extremely important to stay safe and you have to take the safety measures necessary. This hack just showcases the problems of a centralised exchange and storing cryptocurrencies in one.

There was no irreparable damage with this hack because Binance acted swiftly. Not all exchanges have been able to do so in the past and all credit must be given to Binance for being transparent about the hack and fixing it immediately.