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US Treasury Ties Lazarus Group to Ronin Hack, Sanctions ETH Address

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The US Treasury Department on Thursday added an Ethereum address to its sanctions list, thus linking the Ronin Network attack to the notorious North Korean hackers, Lazarus Group.

It is also the first time the US Treasury Department has publicly linked and blacklisted a crypto wallet address to the North Korean hackers’ group. Though the official announcement did not name Ronin, several blockchain analytics firms confirmed the ties of the sanctioned address to the attack.

One of the Largest Crypto Heist

Ronin Network, which is the  blockchain  used by the players of Axie Infinity, was compromised in the last week of March which resulted in the theft of 173,600 Ether (ETH) and 25.5 million USD Coins, then valued at around $540 million. The fiat value of these stolen  cryptocurrencies  juped over the next few days with an upward market rally, making it the largest crypto heist to date.

Blockchain analytics firm, Elliptic also estimated that the hackers already managed to launder around 14 percent of the stolen funds from Ronin.

But now, after the sanctions, anyone in the digital currency space would be risking US sanctions for making transactions with the sanctioned wallet address.

“Identification of the wallet will make clear to other VC actors, that by transacting with it, they risk exposure to US sanctions,” a US Treasury Department spokesperson said. “This demonstrates Treasury’s commitment to using all available authorities to disrupt malicious cyber actors and block ill-gotten criminal proceeds.”

Meanwhile, the developers are still working on enhancing the security of the Ronin Bridge before redeploying it following the attack. The Vietnamese gaming studio behind the Axie Infinity game has also raised $150 million to compensate the victims of the attack.

“We are still in the process of adding additional security measures before redeploying the Ronin Bridge to mitigate future risk,” a Ronin Network blog post noted, adding that it is aiming to deploy the bridge by the end of this month.

The US Treasury Department on Thursday added an Ethereum address to its sanctions list, thus linking the Ronin Network attack to the notorious North Korean hackers, Lazarus Group.

It is also the first time the US Treasury Department has publicly linked and blacklisted a crypto wallet address to the North Korean hackers’ group. Though the official announcement did not name Ronin, several blockchain analytics firms confirmed the ties of the sanctioned address to the attack.

One of the Largest Crypto Heist

Ronin Network, which is the  blockchain  used by the players of Axie Infinity, was compromised in the last week of March which resulted in the theft of 173,600 Ether (ETH) and 25.5 million USD Coins, then valued at around $540 million. The fiat value of these stolen  cryptocurrencies  juped over the next few days with an upward market rally, making it the largest crypto heist to date.

Blockchain analytics firm, Elliptic also estimated that the hackers already managed to launder around 14 percent of the stolen funds from Ronin.

But now, after the sanctions, anyone in the digital currency space would be risking US sanctions for making transactions with the sanctioned wallet address.

“Identification of the wallet will make clear to other VC actors, that by transacting with it, they risk exposure to US sanctions,” a US Treasury Department spokesperson said. “This demonstrates Treasury’s commitment to using all available authorities to disrupt malicious cyber actors and block ill-gotten criminal proceeds.”

Meanwhile, the developers are still working on enhancing the security of the Ronin Bridge before redeploying it following the attack. The Vietnamese gaming studio behind the Axie Infinity game has also raised $150 million to compensate the victims of the attack.

“We are still in the process of adding additional security measures before redeploying the Ronin Bridge to mitigate future risk,” a Ronin Network blog post noted, adding that it is aiming to deploy the bridge by the end of this month.



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