CZ Enlists Binance Security Team to Pursue Stolen Huobi HTX Funds

Following a recent hack that resulted in an $8 million loss for the cryptocurrency exchange HTX (formerly known as Huobi), Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the CEO of Binance, extended a helping hand by offering the assistance of Binance’s security team to investigate the incident.

Swift action is crucial when it comes to tracking and recovering stolen cryptocurrencies, as hackers often employ tactics such as mixers or converting the stolen funds into privacy tokens to obscure their activities. On September 24, blockchain analytics platform Cyvers detected an attack that drained 5,000 Ether from one of HTX’s hot wallets.

In a proactive move to mitigate the damage, HTX offered 5% of the stolen funds as a “white-hat bonus,” equivalent to nearly $400,000. However, the hacker has been given a seven-day window to comply with this offer. HTX communicated this proposal in Mandarin (Chinese), as evidenced by a screenshot.

In a lighter moment, CZ playfully commented on the resemblance between the newly rebranded HTX and Sam Bankman-Fried’s well-known cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. It’s worth noting, though, that the circumstances surrounding the losses in both exchanges are vastly different, with HTX falling victim to a hack while FTX faced allegations of being involved in a scam.

Responding to a tweet from Justin Sun, the founder of Tron and an adviser to HTX, CZ appointed Binance’s security team to assist in tracking the stolen funds. Sun also confirmed that HTX would cover all losses incurred by its users, stating:

“The $8 million represents a relatively small sum compared to the $3 billion worth of assets held by our users. It also amounts to just two weeks’ revenue for the HTX platform.”

HTX has taken proactive measures by implementing real-time monitoring mechanisms to prevent future losses. While Sun has denied having a significant stake in HTX, he has committed to conducting several live streams in both English and Chinese to address exchange security concerns.

The HTX hack occurred just one day before the decentralized peer-to-peer network Mixin Network suffered a nearly $200 million loss in a hack that involved a compromise of a third-party cloud service provider’s database.

An independent investigation conducted by the Web3 SaaS analytics platform 0xScope revealed a historical connection between the hacker and Mixin Network. In 2022, an address linked to the hacker received 5 ETH from Mixin and later deposited it into Binance.

Deposits and withdrawals on Mixin Network are set to resume once the vulnerabilities are confirmed and resolved, although plans for recovering the lost assets of users have not been immediately disclosed.

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