Late last month, we reported an attack on Ronin Network, the company behind the popular blockchain game Axie Infinity that allows users to earn cash while they play games. Ronin Network lost about $615 million in USDC and Ethereum surpassing that of decentralized finance protocol Poly Network, which lost $610 million to hackers in August last year.
US officials have indicted North Korean-backed Lazarus Group for the cryptocurrency hack that saw Ronin Network lose $615 million in cryptocurrency
On Thursday the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued new sanctions against an Ethereum wallet owned by Lazarus Group. This wallet, according to investigators contained funds stolen from Ronin Network last month.
The new sanction announced by the US is out to get hackers or at least prevent them from accessing stolen funds. Per the new sanctions, individuals and companies in the US are prohibited from making transactions with the Ethereum accounts that have been associated with Lazarus Group. According to Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, this is so that the hackers do not cash out the funds they may hold with American crypto exchanges.
Lazarus is believed to be operated by North Korea. It has been associated with several cyber attacks over the years. It is believed to be responsible for the 2014 hack on Sony Pictures and the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attacks.
The recent sanctions come days after Virgin Griffin, a 39-year-old American crypto expert was sentenced to five years in prison for aiding North Korea, which in the past has attempted to use crypto as a way to avoid US sanctions, to use digital currencies to evade US sanctions.
Cryptocurrencies are banned in several countries for reasons such as they can be used for money laundering activities.
In the last six months, a handful of crypto exchanges such as Ronin Network, Poly Network, Bitfinex, Crypto.com, Bitmart, etc, have each suffered crypto attacks.