Binance and Huobi Freeze $1.4 Million in Crypto Linked to North Korea

Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic says on Tuesday that it has “acted and cooperated” with cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Huobi to “certainly freeze Lazarus Group hack proceeds”. Elliptical wrote that cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Huobi today froze accounts containing approximately $1.4 million in crypto assets resulting from the June 2022 hack of Harmony’s Horizon Bridge. According to the blockchain analytics firm “The Horizon cross-chain bridge was attacked on June 24, 2022 resulting in the loss of $99.6 million in crypto assets and these funds were laundered through the now approved Tornado Cash”.
Ethereum mixer Tornado Cash was banned last August by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Elliptic said last June that the Horizon Bridge hacker sent more than 98 percent of the $100 million in stolen crypto assets to the Tornado Cash mixer. The stolen assets also included Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), and Binance Coin (BNB), and according to the firm, the hacker immediately exchanged Ethereum-based assets for 85,837 ETH. UNISAP was used for The entire trail of funds was traced through the Ellipse investigator’s mixer, and the Lazarus Group, a North Korean-controlled cybercrime organisation, was held responsible. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) later responded and confirmed Lazarus Group’s involvement in the hack. Elliptic releases that the stolen funds were lying dormant until recently when our investigators began tracking them through a complex chain of transactions across exchanges. According to Simone Maini, CEO of Elliptic, the money laundering was detected today and the funds stolen from North Korea were blocked in real time.
The CEO goes on to say that as an industry we have the power and responsibility to prevent digital assets from becoming a haven for money launderers and sanctions, and ensure they are a force for good.


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