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US law enforcement recovers $30 million worth of cryptocurrency out of $625 million Ronin Bridge hack: Report

On Thursday, the blockchain forensics company Chainalysis said that US law enforcement had been successful in recovering $30 million worth of cryptocurrency that had been stolen during the March attack of the $625 million Ronin Bridge.

According to Chainalysis, the Lazarus Group, an entity with ties to the North Korean government that was responsible for the attacks, used sophisticated money-laundering techniques at first. These techniques included sending stolen Ether (ETH) to the crypto-mixer Tornado Cash, exchanging it for Bitcoin (BTC), sending the Bitcoin to Tornado Cash, and then cashing it out at exchanges.

However, in light of the recent imposition of penalties on Tornado Cash wallet addresses by the United States Department of Treasury, the organisation has lately shifted away from the use of such methods.

Chainalysis adds that as a consequence, hackers associated with the Lazarus Group turned to maybe ironically laundering the stolen cryptocurrency by using cross-chain bridges on genuine decentralised financial sites. “With Chainalysis tools, these cross-chain funds movements are easily traced,” the company wrote, pointing to a transaction in which hacked funds were bridged from Ethereum to the BNB Chain, then swapped for Tron’s stablecoin USDD, and then finally bridged to the BitTorrent blockchain.

Lazarus Group, which is supported by North Korea, was the first to exploit five of the nine private keys held by transaction validators for the cross-chain bridge that Ronin Network uses. They accepted two transactions that would remove 173,600 ETH and 25 million USD Coin (USDC) from Ronin Bridge, depleting the organisation of its assets after reaching a majority agreement on the matter.

Since then, Binance has been successful in recouping $5.8 million worth of money that were lost in connection with the Ronin exploit. After just four months, the creators of Ronin made the announcement that the cross-chain bridge had been restored after undergoing three audits. Sky Mavis, the company that developed Ronin and was supported by Binance in the funding round that garnered over $150 million, intends to rebuild the system.

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Jeewan Singh is CryptoShrypto’s content writer and a seasoned writer with over two years of experience in writing about Indian Securities Market. Jeewan's participation in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency started in late 2020, and he hasn't looked back since. The technical and economic outcomes of cryptocurrency are what spark his curiosity, and he keeps one eye on the market.
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