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North Korean hacker group Lazarus behind $625 mn crypto heist: US Treasury dept

North Korean hacker group Lazarus behind $625 mn crypto heist: US Treasury dept

The Treasury Department added an Ethereum address to its sanctions list on Thursday. A wallet profiler had marked the wallet as “Ronin Bridge Exploiter”.

North Korean hacker group Lazarus behind $625 mn crypto heist: US Treasury dept North Korean hacker group Lazarus behind $625 mn crypto heist: US Treasury dept

In an interesting turn of events, the US Treasury Department has accused North Korean hacking organisation Lazarus, of stealing around $625 million in cryptocurrencies from the Axie Infinity-linked Ronin bridge, reportedly the biggest crypto heist ever.

The Treasury Department added an Ethereum address to its sanctions list on Thursday. A wallet profiler had marked the wallet as “Ronin Bridge Exploiter”. 

Chainalysis, a cryptocurrency analytics outfit, stated that the address "was implicated in the Ronin hack." Elliptic, a tracing agency, calculated that over 14 per cent of the stolen assets had already been laundered by Friday.

Chainanlysis has also released a detailed explanation for the same in a tweet thread.

According to a Ronin Network blog post, the FBI has connected Lazarus to the validator breach, and the US Treasury Department has sanctioned the payments. “We are still in the process of adding additional security measures before redeploying the Ronin Bridge to mitigate future risk,” the blog stated.

Last month, the sidechain Ronin, which is connected to the main Ethereum blockchain and utilized by developers of the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, Sky Mavis, was hacked, resulting in the theft of 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC, totalling a whopping $625 million at the time. It is noteworthy to mention that this is considered as the biggest crypto heist so far. Moreover, this is also the first time the US Treasury's sanctions division has banned a purported Lazarus-held cryptocurrency wallet.