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. 

Bakkt Launches CFTC-Regulated Bitcoin Options Contracts and Cash-Settled Futures

The Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) cryptocurrency venture, Bakkt, has launched Bitcoin options contracts and cash-settled futures contracts that use its physically-settled bitcoin contracts as a benchmark.

In a blog post published by Bakkt’s COO Adam White, Bakkt compared the Intercontinental Exchange’s Brent Crude Oil Futures, which it claims are “one of the most important contracts ICE would ever offer,” to its ambitions regarding bitcoin. The ICE has launched an umber of swaps, options, and futures contracts based on its crude oil product.

Adam White’s blog post reads:

By starting with the physically delivered Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Monthly Futures, we have a benchmark contract which provides the foundation for us to develop complementary products based on the needs of our customers.

Bakkt’s initial trading volumes for its physical futures contract were rather low, but have been picking up lately with the monthly futures contracts trading over $120 million so far. Bakkt’s options contract is the first regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to hit the market, with one from the CME expected to be launched next month.

On the post Bakkt noted its monthly options contract will have no exposure to spot markets. Options are derivatives based on the value of an underlying asset that give the contract’s holder the option to buy or sell, depending on the type of contract they hold, the asset.

As CryptoGlobe reported, Malta-based crypto exchange OKEx has also announced it’s going to offer its traders options trading later this month on December 27, with a simulation starting on December 12.

It’s worth noting Bakkt is also looking to launch a crypto “consumer app” next year, with Starbucks being its first partner on it. The app will reportedly help its users buy goods and services using bitcoin.

Featured image via Unsplash.