Binance and Huobi Freeze $1.4 million in Crypto Linked to North Korea


According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, cryptocurrency exchanges Binance (and Huobi) have frozen cryptocurrencies linked to North Korea worth approximately $1.4million. According to Elliptic, the firm found that the stolen funds, which had been dormant for some time, were actually derived from the June 2022 hack at Harmony’s Horizon Bridge.
Binance and Huobi freeze North Korea-linked crypto currencies
Elliptic, a blockchain analytics firm, said Tuesday that it had teamed up with cryptocurrency exchanges Binance & Huobi “to freeze Lazarus Group hack proceeds.” Elliptic wrote.
Today, Binance and Huobi crypto exchanges have frozen accounts containing approximately $1.4 Million in cryptoassets. These cryptoassets were derived from the June 2022 hack at Harmony’s Horizon Bridge.
“The Horizon cross-chain bridge was attacked June 24th 2022, resulting the loss of $99.6 millions in cryptoassets. These funds were then laundered via the now-sanctioned Tornado cash,” the blockchain analytics company detailed. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control banned Tornado Cash, an Ethereum mixer, last August.
Elliptic reported that the Horizon Bridge hacker sent more than 98% of the stolen crypto assets to the Tornado Cash mixer. Elliptic stated this in June 2013. The stolen crypto assets were ether (ETH), tether(USDT), wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) and Binance coin (BNB), Elliptic stated. It also noted that the hacker used Uniswap immediately to convert the Ethereum-based assets to 85,837 ETH.
Elliptic investigators traced all funds through the mixer and attributed the hacking to the Lazarus Group. This North Korean cybercrime group is controlled by Lazarus Group. Later, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), confirmed that Lazarus Group was involved in hacking. Elliptic continued:
The stolen funds remained dormant up until recently when our investigators saw them funneled through complex transactions to exchanges.

Elliptic CEO Simone Maini commented:
Today, money laundering was detected. The frozen funds were immediately linked to North Korea.
The CEO stated that digital assets are an industry with the power and responsibility to ensure they are not used by money launderers or sanctions evaders.
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