Bitfinex CTO Deems Alleged Hack “Fake” Amidst Customer Data Leak Claims

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Bitfinex, a major cryptocurrency exchange, has dismissed claims made by hacking group Fsociety that it breached Bitfinex’s database, leading to the leak of 22,500 customer emails and passwords. Paolo Ardoino, the chief technology officer of Bitfinex, refuted the allegations, labeling them as “fake.”

In a post on X on May 4, Ardoino asserted, “If they had any real information, they would have asked for a ransom through our bug bounty, customer support ticket, emails, Twitter, etc. We couldn’t find any request.” He further stated, “We don’t store plaintext passwords, nor 2FA secrets in clear text.”

Bitfinex Data Leak

Regarding the leaked data, Ardoino clarified that out of the 22,500 records, only 5,000 matched with Bitfinex users. He suggested that the hackers likely gathered data from various other crypto data breaches, highlighting the common practice of users employing the same email and passwords across multiple platforms.

A security researcher’s message shared by Ardoino supported the notion that the alleged hack might be a ploy to promote a data retrieval hacking tool. 

The researcher explained, “So by creating a buzz about successfully hacking well-known companies / a university, it is an advertisement of how good their tool is and others should buy it so they can make millions of dollars by using it to exploit companies using this tool.”

No Breach Detected

Despite the claims, Ardoino assured Bitfinex users that no breach had been detected, and all funds remained secure. This assurance is crucial given Bitfinex’s history with data security concerns.

In November 2023, Bitfinex encountered a minor information security incident when one of its customer support agents was hacked. This led to a series of phishing attacks targeting Bitfinex users, though Bitfinex stated that minimal harm occurred. 

Further, the firm also temporarily disrupted trading activities on its platform after an outage. However, it resumed services not long after. 

Bitfinex Breach in 2016

However, Bitfinex faced a significant security breach in 2016, resulting in the loss of 119,576 customers’ Bitcoin, valued at around $70 million at the time. At current prices, this loss would equate to approximately $7.6 billion.

The recent allegations by Fsociety raise concerns about the security of user data on cryptocurrency exchanges and highlight the need for robust security measures to safeguard customer information. Bitfinex has pledged to continue investigating the situation to ensure the integrity of its platform and the safety of its users’ assets.

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