A blockchain data platform company says about $30 million from the $600 million hack of Axie Infinity (AXS) in March is now in the hands of law enforcement.
North Korean-linked hackers, known as the Lazarus Group, are responsible for the theft from the online blockchain-based video game Axie Infinity, says Erin Plante, senior director of investigations at Chainalysis.
Plante says Chainalysis is participating in the hack investigation along with law enforcement and other cryptocurrency leaders.
“I am proud to say that the Chainalysis Crypto Incident Response team played a role in these seizures, utilizing advanced tracing techniques to follow stolen funds to cash out points and liaising with law enforcement and industry players to quickly freeze funds.”
In a blog post, Plante lays out details of the hack through the Ronin Network, a sidechain made for Axie Infinity, efforts to launder the stolen funds and strategies around the retrieval of the money.
“The attack began when the Lazarus Group gained access to five of the nine private keys held by transaction validators for Ronin Network’s cross-chain bridge. They used this majority to approve two transactions, both withdrawals: one for 173,600 ether (ETH) and the other for 25.5 million USD Coin (USDC). They then initiated their laundering process – and Chainalysis began tracing the funds.”
The fate of the remaining stolen funds remains unclear.
“Much of the funds stolen from Axie Infinity remain unspent in cryptocurrency wallets under the hackers’ control.”
Still, Plante celebrates the seizure as proof blockchain technologies are becoming safer and criminals will face consequences.
“There is still work to be done, but this is a milestone in our efforts to make the cryptocurrency ecosystem safer.”
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