Earlier in the year, Live Bitcoin News reported a major hack on the Axie Infinity network. The company lost more than $600 million in crypto funds, and later analyses suggested the hack had occurred through the efforts of Lazarus, a notorious cybercrime enterprise based in the nuclear state of North Korea.
Axie Infinity Comes Out the Winner
It appears there is someone above looking out for Axie Infinity as law enforcement agents in the U.S. report having garnered as much as $30 million of that money back. While the number is relatively small compared with what was taken, this gives traders (and the company) hope that perhaps with time, the rest can be recovered, and those who commit themselves to evil or selfish acts will be thwarted in the long run.
Lazarus is a hacking group in North Korea. The enterprise has been active for years and is responsible for millions – if not billions – of crypto-based funds being stolen from exchanges and other platforms around the world. It is believed that Lazarus may have stolen money from exchanges in the United States, Asia, and Europe.
Lazarus is not the only group engaged in such activity. North Korea has practically made a living off stealing other people’s digital money so it can fund its ever-growing nuclear program. Thus, it’s always positive to see a story like this. Not only is the wronged party getting its funds back and justice is prevailing, but it also means North Korea has $30 million less than it did yesterday that it can put towards building nation-destroying missiles.
Aiding in the recovery of the funds was Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis firm. In a blog post, the company reported that this is arguably the first time in which stolen money was taken back from North Korea.
Still, however, while the story may be a positive and endearing one, it may be a little too early to break out the champagne. The money is back in the rightful hands, but the funds taken away represent not even ten percent of what was stolen, meaning agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and related enterprises still have a lot of work to do.
In addition, what occurred with Axie Infinity is but a small drop in the expanding water bucket of crypto crime. Not long ago, Chainalysis released a report that only eight months into 2022, close to $2 billion in digital funds have been stolen – a huge increase over what was seen during the previous year.
A Lot of Money’s Been Taken
The blockchain analysis firm stated:
We estimate that so far in 2022, North Korea-linked groups have stolen approximately $1 billion of cryptocurrency from defi protocols.
Not long ago, crypto mixing firm Blender was sanctioned by U.S. authorities for allegedly taking part in helping to launder funds garnered from Axie Infinity.