In a bold move, cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Huobi took swift action to freeze accounts containing approximately $1.4 million in crypto assets linked to a notorious cybercrime organization in North Korea. This was made possible thanks to the tireless efforts of Elliptic’s team of investigators, who provided critical intelligence that allowed for a quick response.
The Fight Continues
It all began on a fateful day in June 2022 when the Horizon cross-chain bridge was hacked, resulting in the loss of a staggering $99.6 million in crypto assets. The funds were then siphoned through the now-sanctioned Tornado Cash, effectively laundering them and making them difficult to trace.
Enter Elliptic, and their team of investigators unraveled the entire web of transactions used to move the stolen funds. Through their tireless efforts, they were able to connect the dots and trace the illicit flow of money back to the Lazarus Group, a notorious cybercrime organization controlled by North Korea.
With the assistance of the FBI, Elliptic could confirm the attribution. It wasn’t long before they discovered that the funds had been lying dormant until recently when they began to resurface through complex transactions.
Elliptic’s CEO, Simone Maini, was elated that their hard work had paid off. She remarked:
“Today, we were able to detect money laundering and freeze funds linked to North Korea in real-time. This is a huge win for our industry,d it shows that we have the power and responsibility to ensure that digital assets are not used for illegal activities.”
Binance and Huobi were able to respond swiftly and freeze the accounts containing the stolen funds is a testament to the power of collaboration between crypto exchanges and investigators. This action sends a clear message to would-be hackers and cybercriminals that their illicit activities will not be tolerated in cryptocurrency.
As we move towards a more decentralized financial system, companies must work together to prevent digital assets from becoming a haven for money launderers and other nefarious actors. By taking a proactive approach and implementing strict security measures, we can ensure that cryptocurrencies are a force for good, helping drive economic growth and providing financial access to millions worldwide.
Ultimately, this is a victory for Elliptic, Binance, Huobi, and the entire cryptocurrency industry. It shows that when companies and exchanges work together, they can achieve great things and make the world safer for all. And all of it has happened without the need for strict government regulation and monitoring.