- Huobi has frozen ₿124 worth $2.6 million stolen by North Korean hacking group Lazarus
- The group hacked the Harmony Horizon bridge last year
- The seizure was coordinated between Binance and Huobi
Huobi has frozen ₿124 worth $2.6 million stolen by North Korean hacking group Lazarus, which compromised the Harmony blockchain in June last year. Lazarus recently moved $63.4 million in ETH from 2022’s mammoth Harmony bridge hack, depositing it on Binance, Huobi, and OKX. On Huobi, they converted it to BTC but the exchange was able to shut their accounts before it could be withdrawn, thanks to assistance from Binance. The case is another example of exchanges working together to reduce the ability for bad actors to cash out their ill-gotten gains.
Lazarus Used Railgun to Enhance Privacy
Lazarus compromised the Harmony Horison bridge in June 2022, obtaining private keys and taking $100 million in tokens off the bridge as a result. The attacker then used Tornado Cash to launder many of the stolen tokens, but left some in wallets, which were recently on the move:
1/2 North Korea’s Lazarus Group had a very busy weekend moving $63.5m (~41000 ETH) from the Harmony bridge hack through Railgun before consolidating funds and depositing on three different exchanges. pic.twitter.com/huDumaJeSh
— ZachXBT (@zachxbt) January 15, 2023
The hackers moved the funds through Railgun, a smart contract that adds privacy protection to cryptocurrency transactions, in an attempt to disguise them as they made their way to the exchanges. However, it seems that Binance and Huobi were able to intercept some of the funds, although a hefty percentage has seemingly made its way to the coffers of the North Korean government.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted about the seizure, revealing that not all exchanges collaborate on such matters, saying some “have a wrong competitive mindset”, and suggested that the use of centralized exchanges suggested the hackers wanted to cash out their crypto.