- Cryptocurrency laundering report exposes a $7 billion cross-chain crime trend.
- North Korea’s Lazarus Group implicated in the theft of $900 million in crypto.
- Recent attacks reveal the group has stolen $240 million in cryptocurrencies since June 2023.
October 8, 2023 (IANS) A recent report reveals that over $7 billion in cryptocurrency has been illicitly laundered through cross-chain criminal activities. North Korea’s Lazarus Group has been linked to the theft of approximately $900 million between July 2022 and July of this year, according to findings.
Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic highlights that cross-chain services have emerged as the preferred method for money laundering in various cybercrimes, including scams and cryptocurrency thefts.
Cross-chain crime refers to the process of exchanging cryptocurrency assets between different tokens or blockchains, often in rapid succession and without any legitimate business purpose, with the intention of obscuring their illicit origin.
Furthermore, the report indicates that decentralized exchanges (DEXs), cross-chain bridges, and coin swap services have facilitated the laundering of $7 billion in illicit funds.
The researchers note, “In comparison to our prior estimate of $4.1 billion in October 2022, this figure encompasses both new cross-chain criminal activities occurring since then and previously identified cross-chain crimes that transpired before that date.”
Since June 2023, the North Korean hacking team is believed to have pilfered nearly $240 million in cryptocurrency through a series of attacks targeting Atomic Wallet ($100 million), CoinsPaid ($37.3 million), Alphapo ($60 million), Stake.com ($41 million), and CoinEx ($31 million).
A recent report also revealed that the Lazarus Group holds over $47 million in cryptocurrency, with Bitcoin (BTC) being the predominant asset, accounting for most of the funds.
Data collected by 21.co subsidiary Dune Analytics indicates that the infamous hacking group’s wallets contain approximately $42.5 million in BTC, $1.9 million in Ether (ETH), $1.1 million in Binance Coin (BNB), and an additional $640,000 in stablecoins, with Binance USD (BUSD) being the dominant stablecoin.
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