A set of hackers managed to impersonate Binance chief communications officer (CCO) Patrick Hillmann in a series of video calls with several representatives of cryptocurrency projects. The attackers used what Hillman described as an AI hologram, a deepfake of his image for this objective, and managed to fool some representatives of these projects, making them think Hillmann was helping them get listed on the exchange.
Binance CCO Patrick Hillmann Impersonated by Third Parties
Hackers and scammers are refining their methods by including more technological tools in their schemes. Binance chief communications officer (CCO), Patrick Hillmann, reported last week about a new and sophisticated way in which attackers have used his image to perform a listing scam operation.
Hillmann stated that hackers managed to program an AI (artificial intelligence) hologram of him, a kind of deepfake that 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 Hillmann to thank him for his help in the alleged listing opportunities. However, he had no knowledge of these meetings because he is not part of the listing process at Binance.
Hillmann did not disclose details which cryptocurrency projects were targeted, or the funds invested for the alleged listing services.
Scams Across the Web
The Binance CCO also alerted about a rise in this kind of impersonation scam on several social media platforms all over the internet. About this, Hillmann stated:
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.
Binance’s listing process does not include third parties, Hillmann clarified, and project listing proposals are only received via a direct listing application page. According to a blog post published last year, Binance does not apply a fixed listing fee to these projects. About the value of the listing fee, Binance explains:
There is no fixed number. Just propose a number you are comfortable with. Show your willingness to contribute to social impact.
Furthermore, the fees collected by the exchange are donated entirely to Binance Charity, a blockchain-tracked charity organization sponsored by the exchange. Listing scams seem to be becoming more common, as Bluebenx, a Brazilian crypto investments platform, was also a victim of this kind of scam recently.
What do you think about the Binance deepfake-powered listing scam? Tell us in the comments section below.
Sergio is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Venezuela. He describes himself as late to the game, entering the cryptosphere when the price rise happened during December 2017. Having a computer engineering background, living in Venezuela, and being impacted by the cryptocurrency boom at a social level, he offers a different point of view about crypto success and how it helps the unbanked and underserved.
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