The FBI has named North Korean hackers as the culprits of the Axie Infinity hack.
Near the end of March, the developers of online game Axie Infinity, a game that allows users to earn and hold cryptocurrency and NFTs, suffered a massive hack attack, losing roughly $600 million in cryptocurrency. This was accomplished via a special network that users could use to send cryptocurrency between different blockchains, covertly placed by an at-the-time unknown hacker group.
Today, the FBI has named their prime suspect in this hack: Lazarus Group, a hacker collective of unknown size believed to be directly associated with the North Korean government. “Through our investigation we were able to confirm Lazarus Group and APT38, cyber actors associated with the DPRK, are responsible for the theft of $620 million in Ethereum reported on March 29th,” the FBI said in a statement.
Following this, the US Treasury Department issued a sanction on the specific crypto wallet used by Lazarus Group to receive the stolen cryptocurrency. According to crypto crime trackers, Lazarus Group has successfully stolen approximately $1.75 billion in assorted cryptocurrencies over the last several years, with national security experts believing that some or all of this money has been funneled to the North Korean government to fund nuclear weapons research.
— Stephen Webster (@move2thecloud) April 15, 2022
“A hack of a cryptocurrency business, unlike a retailer, for example, is essentially bank robbery at the speed of the internet and funds North Korea’s destabilizing activity and weapons proliferation,” said Ari Redbord, legal affairs head at financial crime tracker TRM Labs. “As long as they are successful and profitable, they will not stop.”