“Life imitates art,” says the old saying. In fiction, Netflix will release a Korean version of “La Casa de Papel”; In the real world, a millionaire’s crime is suspected of being linked to a government North Korea: Pyongyang may be behind a pirate attack in World Cryptocurrency.
Let me explain more. do you remember Attack this horizona bridge to the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain operated by Harmony, suffered last week?
Exactly seven days ago, scammers took the equivalent of $100 million in digital assets from the American company.
After analysis, three digital investigation companies came to the conclusion: most likely those responsible for the crime in Horizon were hackers sponsored by the North Korean government.
If suspicions are confirmed, this would be the eighth North Korean-related scam this year alone, with a total of nearly $1 billion stolen, according to on-chain analytics firm Chainalysis.
Did North Korea fund the Horizon attack?
Investigative firms believe the manner in which the coup was carried out is similar to other attacks that have been linked to North Korea.
“This looks like a transaction-based North Korean hack,” said Nick Carlsen, a former FBI analyst who investigates crypto thefts in North Korea for TRM Labs in the United States.
It is worth noting that North Korea is not accused today of being involved in cyber-attacks to circumvent Western sanctions. Members of the United Nations have even claimed that the country is using stolen assets to fund nuclear programs.
According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, there are “strong indications” that the Lazarus Group, a North Korean hacking group linked to Pyongyang, orchestrated the attack.
According to US officials, Lazarus is under the control of a North Korean spy agency and has been accused of being involved in other cyber attacks.
What is the hacker’s strategy?
For Chainalysis, a company that helps Harmony investigate crime, the attack technique, speed of payments, and asset laundering to obfuscate the source are similar to other North Korean scams.
What do I mean by “wash”? According to Elliptic, to eliminate any trace of the crime, the scammers immediately transferred most of the stolen funds to ethereum.
“The thief is trying to break the transaction path to the original theft. This makes it easier to withdraw funds from the exchange,” Elliptic said in a report.
According to the company, hackers began laundering stolen assets through Tornado Cash, a service used to make it difficult to trace funds by mixing up transaction keys and addresses with fake wallets. The company stated that, to date, approximately $39 million of ETH has been sent to Tornado.
*With information from the Guardian and Reuters
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