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U.S. Treasury Sanctions 3 More ETH Addresses; Allegedly Linked to North Korea

2 mins
Updated by Andrew Rossow
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In Brief

  • The US treasury department has blacklisted three more wallets linked to the Ronin wallet exploit.
  • The hackers have already began moving part of their stolen funds from the exploit.
  • North Korea has been funding its defense program ETH stolen crypto funds.
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The U.S. Department of Treasury believes it has found more ETH wallet addresses linked to North Korea and the hacker group, Lazarus, who was responsible for last month’s Axie Infinity hack on Ronin Network.

On Friday, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added three Ethereum wallet addresses to its blacklist, which are now believed to be linked to the North Korean hacker group, Lazarus. There was already one ETH address on the list prior to Friday’s announcement.

The Treasury Department also suggested that adding these new wallet addresses to its ‘SDN Listing’ is an attempt to minimize and prevent North Korea from attempting to evade U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

Source: Twitter

Impending attacks from North Korea?

Several authorities have already accused the country of sponsoring hackers to go after crypto projects, such as Axie Infinity. Reports have indicated that this is how North Korea allegedly raised funds to finance its defense programs.

In 2021, North Korean hackers stole approximately $400 million worth of cryptocurrency, according to data from Chainalysis. It would appear that North Korea favors Ether, with ETH accounting for more than half of its stolen funds.

However, these efforts to exploit and hack projects is only the beginning, according to crypto expert and DeFiance founder Arthur Cheong, who has recently warned of impending attacks by North Korea. Cheong says that these hackers have developed sophisticated methods in its efforts of targeting crypto projects. In his Twitter thread, he identified BlueNorOff as one of the key cybercrime organizations sponsored by North Korea.

With increasing global tensions and the possibility of using crypto to evade sanctions, the U.S. and its allies have doubled down on their efforts against cybercrime groups. 

A few weeks ago, OFAC announced sanctions against crypto exchange Garantex and Russian darknet marketplace Hydra. Germany also announced shutting down Hydra servers within the country.

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Oluwapelumi Adejumo
Oluwapelumi believes Bitcoin and blockchain technology have the potential to change the world for the better. He is an avid reader and began writing about crypto in 2020.
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