Funds being skimmed in Ethereum seem to be the trend of late. The notorious North Korean hackers known as Lazarus Group have reportedly been busy laundering cryptocurrency over the past two days, according to a recent tweet from blockchain tracker PeckShieldAlert. This is a portion of the Ethereum (ETH) that was taken in June of last year when Harmony’s Horizon cross-chain bridge was exploited.
An FBI report recently disclosed the specifics of this. A formal update to the announcement made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the final week of January concerning Lazarus (also known as APT38), a team of North Korean hackers who exploited the Horizon Bridge and stole about $100 million in Ethereum, in June, has been made.
Hackers have been utilizing the peel chain layering technique during the past two days. Peel chain enables the slow transfer of large amounts of cryptocurrency from one wallet to new addresses via short transactions. These new addresses are frequently created on cryptocurrency exchanges. However, since these transactions raise concerns and call for urgent reporting to authorities, AML departments on exchanges can easily identify this process.
Ethereum Worth $18M On The Move
On January 29, on-chain investigator ZachXBT announced that it had seen a substantially larger amount of the Harmony ETH being moved.
11,304 ETH were then valued at around $17.7 million. The money was distributed in modest amounts to at least six cryptocurrency trading platforms. ZachXBT quickly contacted them in the hopes that they would immediately freeze those funds that were obtained unlawfully. There was a good likelihood that the crypto would be returned to Harmony because the amount that was being split and moved was too huge to go unnoticed by the exchanges’ IT specialists.
According to a new UN report released by Reuters, North Korean government hackers had a record-breaking year in 2016. They purportedly contribute to the government’s nuclear weapons development programme.
Various sources cited by Reuters claim that DPRK hackers were successful in stealing cryptocurrency valued anywhere between $630 million and over $1 billion USD.
Because these hackers are employing more sophisticated hacking techniques than in the past, it is becoming difficult to track down the cryptocurrency they have stolen.