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US officials link North Korean Lazarus hackers to $625M Axie Infinity crypto theft


U.S. officials have linked North Korean state-backed hacking group Lazarus to the recent theft of $625 million in cryptocurrency from the Ronin Network, an Ethereum-based sidechain made for the popular pay-to-earn game Axie Infinity. 
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Thursday announced new sanctions against an Ethereum wallet belonging to Lazarus. Blockchain analysis firms Elliptic and Chainalysis have both confirmed that the U.S. Treasury’s wallet address is identical to the one used in the Ronin hack, which saw the attackers exploit the network for 173,600 ether, or about $597 million, and $25.5 million worth of the stablecoin USDC. The heist, which totaled $625 million at the time, is the largest decentralized finance hack to date, according to the DeFiYield REKT database, which tracks DeFi scams, hacks and exploits.
The wallet itself — which held 148,000 ether as of Thursday — was discovered by the FBI as part of its ongoing investigation of the threat posed by North Korea and state-sponsored actors like Lazarus Group. Blockchain analysis firm Elliptic estimated that 14% …

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