Binance Freezes $5.3M in Stolen Funds Following BtcTurk Cyber Attack

In a swift response to a cyber attack on Turkish cryptocurrency exchange BtcTurk, Binance has frozen over $5.3 million in stolen funds and is actively assisting with the investigation. The incident, which occurred on June 22, 2024, primarily affected hot wallets containing 10 different cryptocurrencies on the BtcTurk platform.

Binance CEO Richard Teng announced the intervention on social media platform X, stating, “Binance is assisting BtcTurk with investigations and have frozen over $5.3M in stolen funds so far.” Teng emphasized that Binance’s security and investigations teams are working around the clock to protect the cryptocurrency ecosystem from malicious actors.

BtcTurk, which serves over five million users, confirmed the attack in an official statement. The exchange assured users that while portions of hot wallet balances were compromised, the majority of assets stored in cold wallets remain secure. As a precautionary measure, BtcTurk temporarily halted all cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals to prevent further unauthorized transactions.

The extent of the breach remains under investigation, with some reports suggesting the total stolen amount could be significantly higher. Blockchain sleuth ZachXBT identified suspicious transfers of approximately $54 million in Avalanche tokens potentially linked to the attack.

In response to the incident, BtcTurk has engaged with official authorities and is conducting a thorough investigation. The exchange has emphasized its financial strength, stating that its reserves far exceed the affected amounts, ensuring user assets are not impacted.

This cyber attack on BtcTurk follows a recent trend of security breaches in the cryptocurrency industry. Just days prior, Swiss-based exchange Lykke halted withdrawals after suffering an exploit that reportedly resulted in a loss of $19.5 million in crypto assets.

The incident highlights the ongoing security challenges faced by cryptocurrency exchanges and the importance of robust security measures. It also underscores the value of industry collaboration in responding to such threats, as demonstrated by Binance’s swift assistance to BtcTurk.

As of June 24, BtcTurk has reopened deposits and withdrawals for all ERC20 cryptocurrencies on the ERC20 network, signaling a gradual return to normal operations. The exchange has committed to providing updates as the investigation progresses and additional security measures are implemented.