Lazarus Hackers from North Korea get linked to the $625M Crypto Theft

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TL;DR Breakdown

  • A few weeks back, a staggering $625 million was wiped from the Ronin Bridge.
  • The US Treasury Department accuses the Lazarus Group of being involved in the crypto theft.
  • Ronin Bridge continues to raise funds for recovering the stolen assets.

The global relevance of the crypto sector is increasing. This is why countries are hopping on the crypto bandwagon. The number of crypto platforms and protocols is also increasing. But at the same time, crypto hacking and thefts are also increasing with time. Hackers are finding ways to drain the wallets of individuals and organizations.

A similar incident was recently recorded when the Ronin Bridge; Lazarus Hackers was exploited for more than $625 million. This was one of the most prominent crypto theft attempts in the history of the digital asset industry.  In the attack, the network lost a mammoth 173,600 ETH and 25.50 million USDC. These assets were drained in two transactions, and the network was unaware of the incident in the first seven days.

The US Treasury Department finds Lazarus Group responsible for the attack.

Investigations were being held to find the responsible individuals or group behind the Ronin Network hacking attempt. The US Department has found out that the North Korea-based Lazarus hacking group is linked with the theft.

Moreover, the authority has also placed an ETH address on its list of sanctioned addresses. It was found out that the address was labeled as a “Ronin Bridge Exploiter” by the Department. This address is currently holding around 148,000 ETH coins.

Previously, the Lazarus hackers attempted to launder around 6,500 ETH tokens. They transferred them to three different exchanges. The USDC was also sent to different wallets and DeFi protocols. This Wednesday, 3,000 ETH tokens were moved from the holding wallet to another address. Later, these tokens were dispersed in transactions of 100 ETH apiece to various wallets.

The news of involvement from Lazarus was confirmed by reliable crypto analytic firms, like Chainalysis and Elliptic. It was also concluded that 14% of the stolen funds were laundered by Thursday. The Ronin Bridge also confirmed the news about the investigations from the FBI and the Treasury Department.

FBI and the Treasury Department collectively investigated to reach a conclusion that the Lazarus Group was behind the attack. They also investigated Advanced Persistent Threat 38. It is another hacking group from North Korea.

Ronin Bridge raises funds to reimburse users.

The attack was a major setback for the Ronin Network. Sky Mavis backs it, and it is also linked to Axie Infinity. Therefore, the defamation brought upon by the hacking incident was unsuitable for any of them. Thus, the protocol promised to reimburse its users.

It was recently reported that Sky Mavis has collected about $150 million to reimburse the users. Previously, Axie Infinity had also admitted that the attack took place because of the negligence of the developing team. This provided a route to the hackers and helped them with the exploitation.

Sky Mavis will be helping affected users with their funds. However, the Ronin Network still claims that it prioritizes the security and safety of its protocol. The network’s representatives report incorporating new and additional security measures to counter any possible risks in the future.

Moreover, the US Treasury Department is also showing its commitment to countering maligned cyber activities and criminal proceedings. The representatives of the Department stated that there might be more sanctions required for anyone who indulges in money laundering, smuggling, or trafficking to support the Government of North Korea.

This shows the rigid stance and the nature of sanctions imposed on North Korea by the US. Thus, the connection of North Korea’s hacking groups with this theft is considered a severe threat by the authorities. The authorities emphasize the need for more strict implementation of anti-money laundering and countering terror financing measures. These authorities have called on the cryptocurrency sector to ensure more sustainable sector growth.

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