It has been alleged that Lazarus Group has stolen nearly $2 billion in cryptocurrency since 2017.
An online crime syndicate called Lazarus Group was linked to U.S. Law enforcement connected to the North Korean government, to the $540 million hack of the online game Axie Infinity last month.
In the 13-year history of cryptocurrencies, this was one of the biggest thefts ever, infiltrating the network upon which the game runs. At the time of the attack, 173,600 ether and 25.5 million USD Coins, or USDC, were stolen, total worth of $540 million.
As of Thursday, the U.S. Treasury determined that a digital currency address used by the hackers was under the control of a North Korean hacking group, commonly known as “Lazarus.”
“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,” a Treasury Department spokesperson said, using the initials of North Korea’s official name
Due to the fact that stolen funds must be laundered to become hard cash, the spokesperson said crypto enterprises enforcing anti-money laundering laws are “critical checkpoints” movement of those funds. Furthermore, whoever transacts with the sanctioned wallet would be exposed to U.S. sanctions.
“We would like to extend a thank you to all law enforcement agencies who have supported us in this ongoing investigation,” Vietnam-based Sky Mavis, which created the game, wrote Thursday in an update on its Substack newsletter.