Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is close to discovering the identity of the hacker who masterminded a $570 million hack on the BNB blockchain.
After getting some advice from the police about the identity of the hacker, Binance is now “narrowing down” the person or people behind the attack, Binance CEO Shang Bing Zhao said in an interview with CNBC. ( CNBC ).
The attack targeted so-called Blockchain bridges, allowing the hitherto unknown hacker or hackers to withdraw 2 million units of Binance’s cryptocurrency BNP, worth about $570 million at the time.
Blockchain bridges are tools that facilitate the rapid transfer of tokens from one blockchain platform to another, and more than $1 billion has been lost so far due to breaches targeting these tools this year only, according to data from the cryptocurrency platform Chainalysis.
Because of their importance in decentralized finance (DeFi), these bridges have become an essential target for criminals due to errors in the underlying code.
“We’re still actually helping (authorities) hunt down bad hackers, and working with law enforcement is one way we can try to make this space safe,” Zhao said.
“The authorities have given us some advice on who they think may have done this act, so we are closing the noose,” he added.
Binance intervened to limit the attack’s damage, temporarily halting activity on its BNB Chain network after coordinating with the network’s auditors, the individuals, and entities that sign approvals for transactions.
Zhao, who is referred to as “CZ” online, said this means that BNP Chain was able to block the hacker from most of the targeted funds.
“BNP Shine was able to freeze about 80 to 90 percent of it, so the actual loss to it was much less,” he added.
“The vast majority of funds are still under control,” Binance’s BNB Shine said in a statement at the time of the hack, and the platform confirmed that only about $100 million could not be recovered.
In 2019, Binance developed the BNP chain, originally known as Binance Shine. Like other blockchains, the chain features a special currency called BNP that can be traded or used in games and other applications.