The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confirmed that North Korea-linked Lazarus Group and APT38 are the culprits behind the $100 million Harmony Bridge Hack from June 2022. Here are the explanations for one of the biggest hacks that shook the altcoin space…
Lazarus is behind major altcoin hack
The North Korea-linked cyber group has long been suspected of being behind the attack, but their involvement has so far not been confirmed by authorities. “Through our investigation, we were able to confirm that Lazarus Group and APT38, cyber actors linked to North Korea, were responsible for the theft of $100 million in cryptocurrency from Harmony’s Horizon bridge,” the FBI said in a January 23 statement.
cryptocoin.com As we reported, the Harmony Bridge hack in 2022 was the result of vulnerabilities in Harmony’s Horizon Ethereum bridge that allowed cyber attackers to steal a set of assets stored on the bridge with 11 transactions. The FBI also noted that North Korean hackers began exchanging about $60 million in stolen funds earlier this month through the Ethereum-based privacy protocol RAILGUN. Blockchain expert ZachXBT previously highlighted this via Twitter on January 16.
Hackers tried to use Huobi
According to CEO Changpeng Zhao, Binance in particular has found that hackers are trying to launder funds through the Huobi crypto exchange. He then immediately assisted the exchange in freezing and recovering crypto assets deposited by hackers. The FBI used the following statements:
On Friday, January 13, 2023, North Korean cyber actors used a privacy protocol, RAILGUN, to launder $60 million worth of Ethereum (ETH) stolen during the June 2022 heist. Some of them were frozen in coordination with some crypto-asset service providers. The remaining Bitcoin was later moved to the addresses below.
Lazarus was behind many hacks in the past
The FBI said in a statement that the cyber and virtual assets units, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Justice, continue to “detect and disrupt North Korea’s cryptocurrency-backed theft and laundering incidents.” The Lazarus group is a well-known hacker group reported to have been involved in a number of major exploits in the crypto industry and allegedly behind the $600 million Ronin Bridge attack in March last year.
In April, the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control updated its list of Specially Designated Citizens and Blocked Persons (SDN) to include the Lazarus Group in the aftermath of the attack. That same month, the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency also issued a warning alert in response to the Ronin Bridge attack regarding North Korean state-sponsored cyber threats targeting blockchain companies.
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