US Nabs $30 Million Worth of Crypto From North Korea-Linked Hackers

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Sep 09, 2022

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Chainalysis assisted authorities with reclaiming crypto stolen by the infamous Lazarus Group.

Collaborative Effort

US authorities have seized more than $30 million in cryptocurrency stolen from the popular NFT game Axie Infinity, blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis has revealed. 

In a blog post, the company said that it was a collaborative effort involving itself, law enforcement, and leading crypto industry organizations. It resulted in the recovery of stolen funds from the North Korea-backed hacking group. Chainalysis did not name the organizations that played a role.

According to the analysis firm, the seizure is a landmark event. “This marks the first time ever that cryptocurrency stolen by a North Korean hacking group has been seized, and we’re confident it won’t be the last.”

In March, more than $600 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from Axie Infinity’s sidechain network, Ronin. The group gained access to five of the nine private keys held by validators for Ronin’s cross-chain bridge. Afterward, it initiated two withdrawals: 173,000 ETH and 25.5 million USDC.

The seizure translates to approximately 10% of those funds when accounting for the price differences.

Chainalysis’ role in the operation involved “utilizing advanced tracing techniques” to trace the funds to cash out points. From there, it interfaced with authorities and crypto platforms to freeze the funds.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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