US authorities, with the help of blockchain analyst Chainalysis, discovered $30 million worth of cryptocurrency stolen from Axie Infinity in March. It’s but a fraction of the $625 million lost by the North Korean-linked hacking group known as the Lazarus Group, but it’s a significant achievement for law enforcement and the crypto community.
Chainalysis says this is the first time cryptocurrency stolen by a North Korean hacking group has been seized.
As the analyst explains, North Korean-linked groups typically use Tornado Cash to mix Ether, but the sanctions imposed by the US forced them to use alternative techniques.
They now use blockchain bridges to switch between different types of digital currencies in an attempt to hide the source of their funds, and the analyst had the tools necessary to detect these cross movements.
Apparently, most of the funds stolen from Axie Infinity remain on the blockchain, indicating that they are finding it difficult to move stolen assets and convert them into fiat currency.
Chainalysis seems confident that this will not be the last time stolen funds will be recovered by these hacking groups.