How crypto firm Binance became a hub for hackers, fraudsters, drug traffickers

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Binance is seen on their exhibition stand at the Delta Summit, Malta's official Blockchain and Digital Innovation event promoting cryptocurrency, in Ta' Qali, Malta October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

In September 2020, a North Korean hacking group known as Lazarus broke into a small Slovakian crypto exchange and stole virtual currency worth some $5.4 million. It was one of a string of cyber heists by Lazarus that Washington said were aimed at funding North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

Several hours later, the hackers opened at least two dozen anonymous accounts on Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, enabling them to convert the stolen funds and obscure the money trail, correspondence between Slovakia’s national police and Binance reveals.

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