According to Elliptics, the notorious North Korean pirate group Lazarus is likely behind the recent attack on the bridge. horizontal Harmony, which resulted in a $100 million loss.
In its report on the hack, the blockchain analytics firm said the strategies employed for the attack are similar to those used for the Ronin Bridge hack a few months ago.
The hackers stole assets worth $100 million in different cryptocurrencies such as ETH, WBTC, USDT and BNB, which they immediately converted all to ETH using Uniswap (UNI). Elliptics explained that this is a common laundering technique that criminals use.
Although the theft took place on June 24, the hacker did not move the funds until June 27. The hackers transferred around 41% of the funds – equivalent to around 39,000 ETH – through Tornado Cash in order to make the funds untraceable.
But Elliptics claimed to have used transaction filtering software to trace stolen funds passing through Tornado Cash to new wallets.
Why Elliptics Links Hacking to Lazarus Group?
According to the blockchain analysis company, its analysis of the hack and laundering shows that it is consistent with the way the Lazarus Group operates. Although there is nothing conclusive to prove it, circumstantial evidence points in this direction.
The Lazarus Group is one of the most successful cryptocurrency hacking groups in the world, with over $2 billion stolen. The Lazarus Group began hacking cross-chain bridges and were responsible for the Ronin Bridge which cost Axie Infinity around $600 million.
Additionally, the hacker compromised the keys to a multi-sig wallet to carry out the theft, which matches the methods used by the Lazarus Group.
The company also pointed out that Harmony fits the profile of Lazarus Group targets. Although based in the United States, many members of Harmony’s core team have ties to the Asia-Pacific region, where the Lazarus Group usually focuses.
Additionally, the consistency of deposits made through Tornado cash and the time period in which the deposits occurred are consistent with the Lazarus Group’s laundering of Ronin Bridge funds and APAC night hours.
However, the company added that it would continue its investigations.
North Korea’s Links to Cryptocurrency Thefts
North Korea has become the “pirate” of crypto projects in recent years. A study by Coincub estimated that the country leads in crypto crimes globally.
Unlike other countries where crypto crimes are mostly underground, most reports indicate that crypto theft in North Korea is state-sponsored. A UN report released earlier this year claims that North Korea is funding its ballistic and weapons programs with stolen cryptocurrencies.
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