Crypto Exchanges Binance and Huawei have collaborated to recover 121 Bitcoin (BTC) worth $20,803 from the individuals responsible for the Harmony bridge exploit.
“North Korea’s Lazarus Group had a very busy weekend moving $63.5m (~41000 ETH) from the Harmony bridge hack through Railgun before consolidating funds and depositing on three different exchanges,” ZachXBT wrote in the tweet. In the June Harmony hack, $100 million worth of digital assets was taken from Horizon, a bridge that allows crypto holders to make payments between the Harmony blockchain and either Ethereum or Binance Smart Chain.
A tally of more than $1 billion that had been stolen from bridges at that time in 2022. About a week later, it was reported that Lazarus Group was likely behind the heist based upon data from Horizon and a finding by forensics company Elliptic Enterprises that the laundering method used had the same hallmarks as those used by the hacking collective.
North Korean hackers swiped close to $400 million in cryptocurrencies during the previous calendar year, 2021, Chainalysis reported in January 2022. These funds were taken in at least seven cyberattacks that targeted investment firms and centralized exchanges during the year. The fraudsters made use of phishing lures, code exploits, malware and advanced social engineering to funnel the money from connected “hot” wallets into addresses controlled by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The monies were then laundered and cashed out.
This is not the first time that crypto exchanges have had to deal with such incidents. In the past, many exchanges have fallen victim to hacking attempts, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars worth of digital assets.
Harmony had offered a $1-million bounty for information about a theft on the Horizon bridge amounting to around $100 million, in which tokens including Wrapped Ethereum SOETH/USD, Aave AAVE/USD, SushiSwap SUSHI/USD, DAI DAI/USD, Tether USDT/USD, and USD Coin USDC/USD were stolen.
The cryptocurrency investigator reported that the hackers, after moving the funds, combined and deposited the digital assets on three different cryptocurrency exchanges. However, the blockchain-based detective did not reveal the identities of the exchanges utilized by the exploiters.
On June 24, 2022, the Harmony project discovered an exploit and informed that $100 million in funds were stolen. The hack brought attention to concerns previously raised by members of the community regarding some of the multi-sig wallets securing the Horizon bridge.
On June 30, the Lazarus Group, a well-known North Korean hacking group was identified as a potential perpetrator of the $100 million Harmony hack. Blockchain security firm Elliptic observed that the method used in the hack was similar to previous attacks conducted by the Lazarus Group.
It is important to note that the Horizon bridge hack is one of the major exploits and hacks of 2022. Experts think that Lazarus Group targeted Harmony’s employee login credentials to gain access to the system and then used money laundering programs to move the stolen funds