Chainalysis Helps in Seizure of $30M in Crypto Stolen by North Korea Hackers
- The cryptocurrency seizure enabled by Chainalysis represents approximately 10 percent of the total funds stolen from Axie Infinity
- Reportedly, approximately $1 billion has been stolen from DeFi protocols this year, particularly linked to the Lazarus hacking group.
- The Ronin Bridge attack began when the Lazarus Group gained access to five of the nine private keys held by transaction validators.
Chainalysis, an on-chain investigative company, has announced that it helped in the seizure of $30 million stolen by North Korean hackers. Reportedly, the $30 million is part of the March 2022, $600 million hack on Ronin Network, a sidechain of the Axie Infinity.
Notably, the cryptocurrency seizure enabled by Chainalysis represents approximately 10 percent of the total funds stolen from Axie Infinity. Although a small amount, Chainalysis noted that it shows cryptocurrency hackers are having a challenging time cashing out the stolen proceeds.
Furthermore, most cryptocurrency exchanges with deep off-ramp liquidity have enabled KYC features that make it difficult for scammers to operate.
“With the help of law enforcement and leading organizations in the cryptocurrency industry, more than $30 million worth of cryptocurrency stolen by North Korean-linked hackers has been seized. This marks the first time that cryptocurrency stolen by a North Korean hacking group has been seized, and we’re confident it won’t be the last,” Chainalysis noted.
Chainalysis and the Cryptocurrency Market Outlook
The cryptocurrency market has recorded major gains in the past year, particularly in the DeFi market. Hackers have found a soft spot on the cross-bridge networks and are willing to pay the price to get into the funds.
According to Chainalysis, approximately $1 billion has been stolen from DeFi protocols this year, particularly linked to the Lazarus hacking group. However, the Ronin Bridge hack is the most outstanding due to the sheer volume of digital assets involved.
According to Chainalysis, the Ronin Bridge attack began when the Lazarus Group gained access to five of the nine private keys held by transaction validators. Reportedly, the North Korean hackers used the majority of the keys to approve two transactions. One for 173,600 Ethereum (ETH) and the other for 25.5 million USD Coin (USDC).
Later, the hackers then initiated their laundering process. Whereby, the laundering of these funds has leveraged over 12,000 different crypto addresses to date, which demonstrates the hackers’ highly sophisticated laundering capabilities.
Interestingly, the stolen funds were passed through cryptocurrency mixers including the United States-sanctioned Tornado Cash. This comes despite a report that Coinbase Global Inc. (NASDAQ: COIN) has financed a lawsuit challenging the sanctioning of Tornado Cash tech.
“Sanctioning open source software is like permanently shutting down a highway because robbers used it to flee a crime scene,” Coinbase implied.
The cryptocurrency market has recorded major scrutiny by global regulators in the past two years. Consequently, poorly structured crypto projects have been pushed to the sidelines.
The global cryptocurrency market cap today is $1.03 Trillion, a 0.3 percent change in the last 24 hours.
Worth noting that the total cryptocurrency trading volume on the last day is $76.2 Billion. Bitcoin dominance is at 36 percent and Ethereum dominance is at 19.2 percent.