The Lazarus Group, the North Korean hacking group linked to the US$600 million Axie Infinity hack in March, is still laundering funds stolen from the hack despite sanctions imposed by the U.S. 

See related article: Axie Infinity blockchain Ronin hacked for over $600M

Fast facts

  • Despite U.S. sanctions, North Korean hackers have been freely laundering money, primarily through Tornado Cash, a service that attempts to hide the origin of funds, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. 
  • As of April 14, exploiters had laundered 18% of their loot, or over US$100 million of the proceeds. Around US$80.3 million was laundered through Tornado Cash.
  • According to a report by The Washington Post, addresses sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department often remain free to continue transactions, mainly due to incomplete compliance by companies like Tether and Center Consortium.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the Ethereum wallets of the attackers on April 14, adding three more addresses to the sanctions list on Friday.
  • However, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, said it froze US$5.8 million of the stolen funds that made it onto its platform on Friday. 

See related article: Ronin hack delays Axie Infinity upgrade