North Korean hacker group identified as suspect in $100 million Harmony attack

North Korean hacker group identified as suspect in 0 million Harmony attack

The Lazarus Group, a well-known North Korean hacker syndicate, has been identified as the prime suspect in the recent attack that stole $100 million worth of Harmony protocol.

According to a new report released Thursday by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, the way Harmony’s Horizon Bridge was hacked and the way the stolen digital assets were subsequently laundered bears a striking resemblance to other Lazarus Group attacks.

“There are strong indications that North Korea’s Lazarus Group may be responsible for this theft, based on the nature of the attack and the subsequent laundering of the stolen funds.”

Furthermore, Elliptic described exactly how the robbery was executed, noting that the Lazarus Group targeted the login credentials of Harmony employees in the Asia-Pacific region to breach the protocol’s security system. After gaining control of the protocol, the hackers deployed automated laundering programs that moved the stolen assets late at night.

Elliptic also noted that the hackers had already transferred more than 40% of the $100 million to Tornado Mixer, an Ethereum-based “mixing service” that obscures transaction data and makes it extremely difficult for investigators to track the movement of cryptocurrencies. money.

Initially, the Harmony team offered a $1 million reward as an incentive for the hackers to return the funds. However, on June 29, Harmony increased the reward to $10 million and stated that the full return of the funds would end the investigation and no further criminal charges would be filed.

The $600 million Ronin Bridge hack in April has also been linked to The Lazarus Group. Due to current market conditions, the value of Ether (ETH) stolen has plummeted more than 60% to $230 million.

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A recent report by Coinclub.com indicates that North Korea has deployed 7,000 full-time hackers to raise funds through cyberattacks, ransomware, and crypto protocol hacks. North Korea is the world leader in crypto-related crime, with more than 15 documented cases of cyber theft amounting to some $1.59 billion in stolen funds.

Harmony’s Horizon Bridge is the latest addition to a growing list of token bridges that have been attacked, including Meter, Wormhole, and Ronin, bringing the total number of bridge token-related thefts to just over a billion. dollars only in 2022.

The largest token bridge to be hacked was the Poly Network in 2021, which lost $610 million, nearly all of which has since been returned.

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