• Deepfake Binance CCO was used by hackers to perform exchange listing scams

  • In a series of video meetings with representatives from several cryptocurrency projects, a group of hackers managed to impersonate Binance chief communications officer (CCO) Patrick Hillmann. The attackers deployed what Hillman characterized as an AI hologram, a deepfake of his image, to trick certain representatives of these projects into thinking Hillmann was assisting them in becoming listed on the exchange.

    Patrick Hillmann, CCO of Binance Third-party impersonation

    Scammers and hackers are improving their approaches by incorporating more technology tools into their scams. Patrick Hillmann, Binance’s chief communications officer (CCO), reported last week on a novel and clever technique in which attackers leveraged his image to conduct a listing hoax operation.

    Hillmann claimed that hackers were able to create an AI (artificial intelligence) hologram of him, a type of deepfake that was used to defraud representatives of multiple cryptocurrency projects during Zoom calls. The hologram was successful in convincing these projects that they were being considered for listing on Binance and that Hillmann was a part of this operation.

    When these people contacted Hillmann to thank him for his assistance in the purported listing opportunities, the listing scheme was revealed. However, he was unaware of these talks because he is not involved in the Binance listing process.

    Hillmann did not specify which bitcoin projects were targeted or how much money was invested in the purported listing services.

    Scams on the Internet

    The Binance CCO also warned of an increase in this type of impersonation scam on many social media platforms throughout the internet. Hillmann stated the following:

    Beyond this latest incident, there’s been a recent spike in hackers pretending to be Binance employees and executives on platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Telegram, etc. We are prepared to defend our users and our ecosystem.

    Hillmann stated that third parties are not involved in Binance’s listing process, and project listing proposals are only accepted through a direct listing application website. Binance does not charge a fixed listing fee for these projects, according to a blog post published last year. Binance states the listing fee’s worth as follows:

    There is no fixed number. Just propose a number you are comfortable with. Show your willingness to contribute to social impact.

    Furthermore, the exchange’s fees are totally contributed to Binance Charity, a blockchain-tracked charity organization sponsored by the exchange. Listing scams appear to be growing more widespread, as Bluebenx, a Brazilian crypto investment site, was recently a victim of one.

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