Cryptocurrency News

The Telegram Group That Might Contain Your Binance KYC: Binance Investigating (Updated)

A Telegram group which is quickly gaining new members contains upwards of 850 KYC photos of users of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. The CEO of the exchange, Changpeng Zhao, revealed that they are already investigating the matter and has warned people not to fall for the “KYC leak” FUD. 

Was Your Binance KYC Photo Leaked?

Binance is known for being one of the cryptocurrency exchanges with most demanding know-your-customer (KYC) procedures required for verifying an account. 

However, this also comes with increased responsibility as the sensitive data must be kept safe and off the hands of wrongdoers.

Earlier today, it was revealed that there is a functioning Telegram group which contained mandatory KYC photos and passport snaps of registered users. Interestingly enough, the group is called “KYC is important.”

Indeed, at the time of this writing, the group does contain upwards of 850 photos of people holding a note with Binance and the date of the photo, as well as pictures of passport pages and so forth. The group already has more than 8,600 members in it and it’s seemingly gaining steam. 

It’s also important to note that back in January, hackers claimed that they had obtained a significant amount of KYC data from 4 major cryptocurrency exchanges – Binance, Bitfinex, Poloniex, and Bittrex. At the time, Binance denied the claims. 

Don’t Fall For The “KYC Leak” FUD, CZ Says

Quick to comment on the matter was the CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange, Changpeng Zhao. 

He warned people not to fall into the “KYC leak” FUD and he said that Binance is already investigating and will provide an update shortly. 

For what is worth until we get further confirmation, it’s unreasonable to consider that these photos are indeed leaked KYC pictures of registered Binance users. It might as well be someone who wants to spread FUD by taking photos of stolen passports. Also, it’s worth noting that virtually anyone can grab a note and write “Binance” with the date on it. 

Update: Binance Has Provided a Statement

Shortly after the article was published, Binance provided an official statement on the matter.  Reportedly, an “unidentified individual” has threatened the exchange, demanding 300 BTC in exchange for withholding 10,000 photos which “bear similarity to Binance KYC data.”

Binance revealed that they refused to cooperate and that they continue to investigate but the individual has started to distribute the data.

Moreover, the exchange claims that there are “inconsistencies” when comparing the data to that in their system and that there’s no evidence that there are any KYC leaks from Binance. That’s because these images don’t have the digital watermark which is imprinted by their system. The exchange outlined that most of the pictures are dated back from February 2018 and, at the time, Binance had been working with a third-party KYC service provider who has already been contacted and tasked with investigating the matter as well.

Binance also says that they believe it’s the same data set which was discovered in previous articles as mentioned above and that the hacker claimed that he has KYC data on different exchanges.

Binance offers up to 25 BTC as a reward to anyone who provides relevant information for revealing the identity of the hacker.

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