The US government has successfully confiscated $30 million worth of cryptocurrency from the North Korean state-linked threat group, Lazarus.
Cybercriminal group stole token-based winning game money Axie Infinity earlier in the year.
According to crypto intelligence firm Chainalysis, the incident marks the first time a cryptocurrency stolen by a North Korean hacking group has been seized. With help from the federal government and blockchain analysts, the company has been instrumental in recovering stolen assets.
“The Chainalysis Crypto Incident Response team played a role in these seizures, using advanced tracing techniques to track stolen funds to collect points and liaising with law enforcement and security actors. industry to quickly freeze funds,” the company reports.
The money seized will be gradually deposited into Axie Infinity’s treasury and returned to the gaming community. However, the process could take years.
As for the scale of the attack, Lazarus’ Axie Infinity hack reportedly cost the gaming company $620 million. As it stands, the amount recovered is only 10% of the total funds stolen from Axie Infinity.
Even so, hackers are unlikely to succeed in cashing out their ill-gotten crypto gains, Chainalysis notes.
“A large portion of the funds stolen from Axie Infinity are not spent in cryptocurrency wallets under the control of hackers. We look forward to continuing to work with the cryptocurrency ecosystem to prevent this, as well as to ‘other illicit actors, to cash out their funds,’ Chainalysis added.
Not so long ago, Lazarus was reported in an attempted cyberattack against cross-chain company Bridge Finance. The news comes weeks after the US State Department doubled the reward for information on cyber threat actors with roots in North Korea.
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