Huobi Addresses User Phone Numbers Leaked in the Wake of Binance KYC Hack

Michael LaVere
  • Huobi addressed reports that user information is surfacing in dark-web marketplaces. 
  • Claims that most of the information being offered does not match their database, pointing to third-party hacks to blame. 

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi addressed the fact that client phone numbers were surfacing online, in the wake of rival exchange Binance’s KYC hack earlier in the month.

Dark Web Sellers

According to a report published by news outlet The Block, several sources have said that Huobi user information has been surfacing on dark web marketplaces. The news comes just week after leading crypto exchange Binance allegedly suffered a KYC breach that saw personal information for users being spread through a Telegram chat. Binance has been hacked before for 7,000 BTC that got stolen off of its hot wallet back in May.

The anonymous sources claim that the same security concerns that implicated Binance in the breach apply to other cryptocurrency exchanges--a fact that has become clearer with Huobi user details allegedly emerging on the dark web. Hackers have been flaunting the sale of user information belonging to Huobi clients for the past week, with one Chinese dark web market offering the data for $0.30 a piece. 

The data in question involves the phone numbers of users and the text messages they received when withdrawing from the exchange, which can be used for a phishing scam by would-be criminals. 

According to the report, 

“One seller, who claimed to be a hacker, promised that these phone numbers are “absolutely real” and can yield a high pick-up rate, suggesting that potential scammers can expect responses when reaching out to these numbers. The hacker even added that these phone numbers’ ‘convert rate is decent for conducting a pyramid scheme.’”

In addition to Huobi, dark web hackers were offering user data from exchanges BIKI, Hetbi and ZDCoin. 

Huobi Responds

The Block was able to reach Huobi head of marketing Ross Zhang, who claimed that at least some of the user data being sold through dark web portals was false. According to Zhang, they ran user data being sold against their own database and found “only a negligible portion of the phone numbers are associated with Huobi accounts.”

He continued, 

“We suspect that the hacker is using Huobi’s name as a gimmick for their own business interests.”

A Huobi spokesperson speculated that the user data being peddled on the dark web may have been acquired through alternative routes, such as a third-party messaging provider. 

Hackers Try to Sell Data of 142 Million MGM Hotel Guests for Bitcoin or Monero

Hackers are trying to sell the data of 142 million MGM hotel guests on the dark web for about $2,900 worth of cryptocurrency, payable in either bitcoin or monero (XMR).

According to ZDNet, the data comes from a 2019 data breach that MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) that was initially believed to have only affected 10.6 million MGM hotel guests, as the hackers published a free sample of the data available for download.

The new finding, that a total of 142,479,937 hotel guests had their data stolen by a hacker, was discovered after a hacker published an ad to sell the data on a darknet market. The hacker claims to have gotten to the data after breaching data leak monitoring service DataViper, which is operated by Night Lion Security.

The founder of Night Lion Security, Vinny Troia, reportedly told ZDNet the firm never owned a copy of MGM’s full database, and that the hackers were trying to ruin its reputation with their claims. While MGM Resorts learned of the security breach last year, it did not make it public and instead just notified impacted customers.

Speaking to ZDNet, an MGM spokesperson said:

MGM Resorts was aware of the scope of this previously reported incident from last summer and has already addressed the situation

The spokesperson also added that the majority of data consisted of “contract information like names, postal addresses, and email addresses.”  Social Security numbers, reservation data, and other financial information was not leaked, according to MGM.

Irina Nesterovsky, Head of Research at threat intel firm KELA, reportedly noted that the MGM data has been for sale on private hacking circles since at least July 2019 and that the situation could be even worse, as posts from Russian-speaking forums claimed to contain the details of 200 million hotel guests.

For now, it’s only clear that the hacker who has the data is trying to sell it for $2,900 worth of either bitcoin or XMR on an unnamed darknet marketplace.

Featured image via Pixabay.