Onchain Researchers Discover $63M in Ethereum From Harmony Bridge Attack Moved, Hackers Attempt to Launder Funds on Major Exchanges
On Jan. 15, 2023, onchain researchers discovered that funds stolen during the Harmony bridge attack had been moved. The suspected thieves, who are allegedly associated with the North Korean hacking syndicate Lazarus Group, moved 41,000 ethereum, worth $63.2 million at current exchange rates.
Onchain Researchers Track Stolen Ethereum From Harmony Bridge Attack and Help Major Exchanges Freeze Funds
On June 23 of last year, the Harmony development team disclosed that $100 million in cryptocurrency funds had been stolen from the Horizon bridge. Reports indicated that the attacker had utilized a multi-signature wallet to gain control of the bridge. Onchain researcher Zachxbt discovered that funds related to the Horizon bridge loss began to move 206 days later, with 41,000 ETH (worth $63.2 million at current exchange rates) being transferred.
“North Korea’s Lazarus Group had a very busy weekend moving $63.5 million (approximately 41,000 ETH) from the Harmony bridge hack through Railgun before consolidating funds and depositing them on three different exchanges,” Zachxbt tweeted. The funds were reportedly deposited into OKX, Huobi, and Binance. Zachxbt added that Huobi and Binance had frozen some of the ethereum sent to the exchanges.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as “CZ,” confirmed that the funds were indeed frozen. “We detected Harmony One hacker fund movement,” CZ wrote. “They previously tried to launder through Binance and we froze their accounts. This time they used Huobi. We assisted the Huobi team in freezing their accounts. Together, 124 BTC have been recovered,” the Binance executive added.
Speaking with Bitcoin.com News, an OKX spokesperson said: “OKX is aware of the incident regarding a suspected transfer from the Lazarus Group. The company acted quickly and immediately froze the relevant account once it received a request from law enforcement to do so. The assets in the account are currently locked down.”
The blockchain intelligence firm Elliptic initially linked the funds to North Korea’s Lazarus Group. Lazarus Group is accused of carrying out numerous attacks against cryptocurrency projects in recent years. It is believed that the North Korean hacker collective was behind the $620 million Ronin bridge attack as well.
What are your thoughts on the hackers moving 41,000 ethereum onchain to three major exchanges? Share your perspective in the comments section below.
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