recovers $30M stolen crypto in Ronin Bridge exploit

Chainalysis on September 8 announced they have recovered $30M worth of stolen crypto out of $620M in Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge exploit by Lazarus, a North Korean hacking group.

The security firm along with the FBI worked together with blockchain experts to trace down at least 12,000 wallet addresses to cash-out points by utilizing advanced tracing techniques.

The Ronin Bridge exploit is the biggest heist to ever happen committed by a North Korean hacking group. The hackers exploited 5 out of 9 validation keys on Ronin bridge to steal crypto tokens.

The Ronin bridge is actually a bridge between the Ronin network and the Ethereum blockchain. The users utilized this bridge to transfer funds from one platform to another.

The hackers found a loophole and exploited it to the point that the existing $620M crypto assets in ETH and USDC were drained out instantly, leaving many users empty-handed.

Since then, the Ronin Bridge team and Chainalysis have been working nonstop to recover 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC funds and were able to get back 10% of the stolen crypto.

“This is the first time in history that a cryptocurrency stolen by a North Korean hacking group has been seized and we’re confident it won’t be the last,”  said Eric Plante in a Chainalysis post.

The team also shared that the hacker group was using Tornado Cash, a mixing platform, to transfer funds but the US sanctions led them to switch towards transferring via a bridge.

The ban on Tornado Cash led Chainalysis and the FBI to recover these funds easily. Like Lazarus Group, The platform has been widely used for money laundering cases by criminals.


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