The organization behind the layer 1 blockchain announces a $1 million offer for anybody with tips about the attacker. This happens after the disappearance of $100 million in bitcoin from Harmony Protocol on Friday.
A prime culprit arises as of this afternoon. As per research that the blockchain analytics startup Elliptic issue today, the way they take the cash and the transfer indicates the participation of The Lazarus Group. This is a prominent North Korean cybercriminal organization.
The FBI detects in April that Lazarus, a government cyber operation, was responsible for the $622 million theft of a cross-chain connection. They are using it for the play-to-earn gaming application, Axie Infinity.
Cross-chain bridges integrate blockchains and thus they are frequently using it to connect sidechains like Axie’s Ethereum sidechain Ronin. This can provide faster processing and lesser transaction costs. Developers will do it before routing operations to more reliable blockchains such as the Ethereum mainnet.
Harmony’s attack happens on the Horizon Bridge. This connects Harmony to Ethereum, Binance Chain, as well as Bitcoin. Elliptic’s analysis cites parallels between the two cross-chain bridge attacks as evidence of Lazarus’ participation.
The hacker’s method of attack, media manipulation, alludes to earlier Lazarus attacks. The Harmony assault is also similar to the Axie Infinity breach. With them, they launder all assets that they take in a manner indicating robotic transfers.
According to the research, no single aspect establishes Lazarus’ cooperation. As a result, their combination suggests that the group has involvement.
Crypto Mixing Keep the Origin of their Coins Anonymous
Another aspect is that many Harmony group members’ connections to the Asia Pacific region. In addition, Lazarus prefers to go for Asia-based targets perhaps owing to the languages they employ. Furthermore, the only times the cybercriminals stop dumping illegal assets are at night in the Asia Pacific area.
So far, they are using the money through the mixing provider Tornado Cash. This enables users to pool large amounts of cryptocurrency and exchange them for alternative coins. It is a method of concealing transaction traces that is widely popular to launder illegal tokens.
Users can obscure the origins of their currencies by collecting large sums of tokens in a separate pool and combining them.
The Harmony Protocol attack is the newest in a series of multimillion-dollar hacks of DeFi protocols. North Korean hackers hijack $622 million from Axie Infinity’s Ethereum sidechain, Ronin, in March.
Harmony Protocol is now proposing a $1 million reward for the recovery of the bridge money on Saturday. They are claiming on Twitter that if they will be able to return assets, the business would not campaign for criminal prosecution. The deal looks to become negative depending on today’s transactions.
In this scenario, Elliptic was able to separate the traces of the Harmony criminals’ Tornado Cash transactions. Consequently, they were able to trace the looted assets to a number of new Ethereum wallets.
While exchanges and companies may utilize this information to ensure they do not take any stolen cash, Harmony has no way of recovering them.
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