A group of hackers managed to impersonate Binance’s Chief Communications Officer (CCO), Patrick Hillman, in a series of video calls with several cryptocurrency project representatives. The attackers used what Hillman called an AI hologram, a deepfake of his image, for this target and managed to fool some representatives of these projects into believing that Hillman would help them get listed on the stock exchange.
Binance CCO Patrick Hillmann Impersonated by third parties
Hackers and scammers are refining their methods by incorporating more technological tools into their schemes. Binance’s Chief Communications Officer (CCO), Patrick Hillmann, reported last week on a new and sophisticated way attackers used his image to conduct a listings fraud operation.
Hillmann explained that hackers managed to program an AI (artificial intelligence) hologram of him, a kind of deepfake, which was used to scam representatives of several cryptocurrency projects in Zoom calls. The hologram was able to fool these projects into believing that they were being considered for listing on Binance and that Hillmann was part of this operation.
The listing scheme was discovered when these members contacted Hillman to thank him for his help with the alleged listing facility. However, he was not aware of these meetings as he is not part of the Binance listing process.
Hillmann did not provide details on which cryptocurrency projects were being targeted, or the funds being invested for the alleged listing services.
fraud on the internet
Binance’s CCO also warned of a rise in this type of identity fraud on multiple social media platforms across the internet. Hillman said:
Aside from this recent incident, there has been a recent surge in hackers posing as Binance employees and executives on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Telegram, etc. We stand ready to defend our users and our ecosystem.
Binance’s listing process does not involve third parties, Hillmann clarified, and project listing proposals are only received through a direct listing request page. According to a blog post published last year, Binance does not charge a fixed listing fee for these projects. Regarding the value of the listing fee, Binance explains:
There is no fixed number. Just suggest a number you’re comfortable with. Show your willingness to contribute to social impact.
In addition, fees collected by the exchange are fully donated to Binance Charity, a blockchain-tracked charity sponsored by the exchange. Listing scams seem to be on the rise as Bluebenx, a Brazilian crypto investment platform, also recently fell victim to this type of scam.
What do you think of Binance’s deepfake-based listing scam? Tell us in the comment section below.
photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Iryna Budanova, Shutterstock.com
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