For law enforcement agencies in the States, this is a record forfeiture of funds

US authorities confiscate $30 million in cryptocurrency from North Korean hackers

09.09.2022 - 07:30

115

2 min

What’s new? The US authorities managed to confiscate $30 million in cryptocurrency that was stolen from the Ronin Network’s sidechain by hackers from North Korea in March 2022. According to The Wall Street Journal, Erin Plante, senior director of investigations at analytics firm Chainalysis, said that this recovery was a record for law enforcement agencies in the United States. The company noted that the returned cryptocurrency includes $5,8 million frozen by cryptocurrency exchange Binance in April, as well as several seizures from other platforms, whose names the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) did not specify.

Material by The Wall Street Journal

More details about the situation. As a result of the Ronin hack, the attackers withdrew more than $625 million in digital assets. The FBI linked the attack on the sidechain to Lazarus Group, a hacker group from the DPRK, and the US Treasury Department added to the sanctions list the wallet containing part of the stolen funds and the Blender.io crypto mixer which the hackers used to launder them.

Representatives of Sky Mavis, the developer of the sidechain, stated that they were working with Chainalysis, which, in turn, is already cooperating with the FBI, to investigate the incident. The analytics firm managed to trace the stolen funds to points where criminals tried to convert them to fiat currency. It was at this stage that law enforcement agencies were able to freeze the assets.

According to Chainalysis, Lazarus Group used more than 12 000 different addresses in an attempt to disguise the stolen cryptocurrency. In this, accounting for the change in asset rates, the sum recovered is roughly equal to a tenth of the stolen funds.

Earlier, the FBI managed to return the stolen cryptocurrency to a pensioner from the United States. The man fell victim to phone scammers and sent them 12,16 BTC worth nearly $500 000. The law enforcement authorities traced and froze the criminals’ wallet.

Author:

Vasiliy Smirnov Vasiliy Smirnov

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