On the trail of lost ETH – The Axie Infinity play to earn history hack never stops spilling ink. In fact, they are all the same 173,600 ETH worth approximately $590 million at the time as well as 25.5 million USDC that have flown on the blockchain. The first investigations then revealed that the culprits would be Lazarus, the North Korean hacker group. not happy to have found a few million thanks among others to the cryptocurrency giant Binance, blockchain cops continue to relentlessly investigate the Axie Infinity hack. And guess what: hard work pays off.
Chainalysis recovers $30 million
The announcement therefore fell this week during theAxie Con, international conference of Axie Infinity followers. Chainalysis announced an input 30 million dollars on the 625 million stolen. According to the announcement, these are the on-chain tracking tools and the teams of Chainalysis Crypto Incident Response which made it possible to trace the funds. In this investigation, the company collaborated with the American financial gendarmes to trace laundered funds thus confirming its place asmajor player in blockchain security.
Bridges (bridges in English) inter-chain (between blockchains) then turn out to be the Achilles heel of the blockchain. Apart from the Axie Infinity hack, the Harmo bridge hackNYalso made by Lazarus, illustrates this point.
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Chainalysis: the blockchain crime squad
According to estimates, these are more than$1 billion worth of cryptocurrency stolen by the Lazarus group since the beginning of 2022. The blockchain analyst therefore observes a “skyrocketing increase in stolen funds on DeFi protocols. »
With the help of the various data in their possession, the Chanalysis teams succeeded in drawing the modus operandi used by the North Korean hacker group Lazarus. Repeated on the chain and on several blockchains, the money laundering process has mobilized 12,000 different addresses. From these various observations, the blockchain analysis company then sheds light on the following mechanism:
” North Korea’s typical DeFi laundering technique involves about five steps:
1- Stolen ethers are sent to intermediary wallets;
2- Ether is mixed in batches using Tornado Cash;
3 – Ether is exchanged for Bitcoin;
4 – Bitcoin is mixed;
5 – Bitcoin is deposited on crypto-fiat services for cashing out. »
$30 Million Seized: How the Cryptocurrency Community Complicates Profits for North Korean Hackers – Chainalysis
Tornado Cash is no longer the lethal weapon of cryptocurrency hackers
Chainalysis notes, however, that this amount discovered remains minimal if compared to the $625 million stolen. Indeed, on the funds of the Axie Infinity hack 455 million dollars are on the Tornado Cash cryptocurrency mixer.
However, recent OFAC Sanctions who turned the crypto community upside down and undermined anonymity, allowed these funds to be blocked. In effect, these sanctions call for accounts that receive or trade with Tornado Cash addresses to be suspended.
This seizure is important and symbolic both for the blockchain policeman and for the Axie Infinity community, which has seen its ecosystem deprived of more than 600 million dollars. For their part, the Lazarus web hackers continue to shake the blockchain becoming thecrypto enemy number 1.
Hacks are unfortunate hazards but not inevitable. Chainalysis is investigating! Play it safe and register now on the PrimeXBT platform (commercial link).