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Lazarus returns to Tornado Cash to launder profits from November 2023 hack

Recent reports revealed that Lazarus Group, the most famous cryptocurrency platform hacking group, used Tornado Cash, a currency mixer, in order to hide the trail of funds it stole from Hiko Bridge and the HTX exchange linked to controversial figure Justin Sun.

Lazarus used Tornado Cash to launder proceeds from Hiko Bridge hack and HTX exchange

Everyone now knows that Lazarus is the most famous cryptocurrency platform hacking group. This group has collected billions of dollars through hacking of major accounts. The group widely and systematically uses the Tornado Cash currency mixing platform to cover its tracks.

Recent reports revealed that North Korean group Lazarus once again used Tornado Cash to cover up the trail of funds it stole from Heiko Bridge and the HTX exchange, despite US sanctions against the popular money mixer. cryptocurrency.

reported Elliptic, a blockchain analytics startup, reported that the famous Lazarus Group transferred $12 million worth of Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies. These funds were raised through the hack of Justin Sun's HTX exchange in November and the exchange's Heco bridge.

According to Elliptic and several other security companies, Lazarus orchestrated a $100 million attack on the two platforms last year. While the funds remained unused until March 13. The notorious North Korean hacker group then began laundering the stolen HTX assets on March 14.

According to Elliptic, a blockchain security company, Lazarus Group has made more than 40 transactions using Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency mixer, in the last 36 hours.

US Sanctions Help Reduce Money Laundering Using Cryptocurrency Mixers

Popular cryptocurrency mixer, Tornado Cash.
Popular cryptocurrency mixer, Tornado Cash.

This is not the first time Lazarus has used Tornado Cash. In fact, the group has a long history of mixing currencies to hide its identity and mislead observers. Simply put, the criminal organization has for years and repeatedly used cryptocurrency mixers to launder illicit wealth.

In August 2022, US authorities imposed sanctions on Cryptocurrency mixer Two of its founders were arrested. However, due to its decentralized design, Tornado Cash continued to operate as the government was unable to impose a complete shutdown. Its code is decentralized (immutable) and cannot be stopped by the founders.

In other circumstances, US authorities may have terminated the services of platforms offering the same functionality as Tornado Cash, such as Blender and Sinbad. But the difference is that the latter two are designed from a central model.

According to Chainalysis, regulatory attacks in the United States led to a 29% drop in cryptocurrency money laundering throughout 2023. As Lazarus and other bad actors struggled to keep stolen funds at home, gap.

However, the North Korean group's return to this cryptocurrency mixer indicates the scarcity of large-scale mixers. This is mainly due to US enforcement actions and regulatory withdrawals.

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