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North Korean Hackers Linked to £470M Axie Infinity Crypto Theft

U.S. officials have linked the North Korean hacker group – Lazarus to the recent theft of £470M in Ethereum and USDC from the Ronin Network.

The attack occurred in March of this year, and it is believed to be the largest crypto hack ever, according to the DeFiYield REKT database, which tracks DeFi scams, hacks and exploits.

Nobody has directly pointed the finger at North Korea, but according to the Treasury Department, a digital currency address utilised by the hackers is controlled by the North Korean hacking group known as Lazarus.

The Lazarus Group is a cybercrime organisation whose members are controlled by the North Korean government. While very little is known about the Lazarus Group, researchers have linked them to numerous cyberattacks between 2010 and 2021, including the 2014 Sony hack and the WannaCry ransomware attack.

The FBI found the wallet as part of its continuing effort to combat the danger posed by North Korea and state-sponsored attackers like the Lazarus Group.

According to the blockchain analysis firm Elliptic, 14% of the stolen funds are already laundered, with £7.4 million in intermediary wallets in preparation for laundering.

The flagged wallet address currently contains 148,000 Ethereum and sent 3,302.6 ETH to another address a day ago.

In an updated post about the incident, Ronin Network stated: “We are still in the process of adding additional security measures before redeploying the Ronin Bridge to mitigate future risk. We expect to deliver a full post mortem that will detail security measures put in place and next steps by the end of the month”.

A Treasury Department spokesperson added: “The United States is aware that the DPRK has increasingly relied on illicit activities — including cybercrime — to generate revenue for its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs as it tries to evade robust U.S. and U.N. sanctions”.

Sky Mavis’s co-founder (the owner of Ronin Network) declined to comment. So we’ll just have to wait and see how the situation will unfold.