Law Enforcement Retrieves $30 Million From Axie Infinity Hack

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Law Enforcement Retrieves $30 Million From Axie Infinity Hack:

Chainalysis, a blockchain intelligence firm, announced on Thursday it successfully assisted law enforcement in seizing $30 million in crypto stolen by North Korean hackers of the Lazarus group.

Axie Infinity - Es sports
Axie Infinity – Es sports

The laundered funds were connected to the infamous Axie Infinity hack in March – The largest hack in decentralized finance (DeFi) to date.

According to Chainalysis, the event marks the first time that stolen cryptocurrency has ever been seized from a North Korean hacking group.

Chainalysis has continued to investigating the hack since March of 2022, using “advanced tracing techniques” to track down the hacker’s cash-out points.

Cooperating with law enforcement agencies and other industry giants, the firm helped find and seize roughly 10% of the total funds stolen in the hack.

“We have proven that with the right blockchain analysis tools, world-class investigators and compliance professionals can collaborate to stop even the most sophisticated hackers and launderers,” Chainalysis revealed.

How the Funds were stolen

After hackers gained access to five of the nine validator keys that controlled the Ronin network’s cross-chain bridge, they began to launder funds, draining about 173,600 Ether (ETH) and 25.5 million USD Coin (USDC) from the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity’s treasury across two separate transactions.

At that time, the stolen funds cumulatively was over $600 million, yet their theft was unnoticed until roughly a week after the hack.

Weeks after attack, the perpetrators used several methods to erase their on-chain footprint of the funds.

These methods includes,  transferring them across multiple intermediary addresses, mixing them through Tornado Cash, and transferring them over to the Bitcoin blockchain.

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