The Atomic Wallet Hack: How a North Korean-Linked Mixer Was Used to Steal Crypto
Blockchain compliance firm Elliptic has discovered that the funds stolen in the recent Atomic Wallet hack were sent to Sinbad.io, a cryptocurrency mixer linked to North Korea’s infamous Lazarus Group.
The blockchain compliance firm Elliptic recently reported that the stolen cryptocurrency from the Atomic Wallet hack, amounting to $35 million, was transferred to Sinbad.io, a cryptocurrency mixer suspected of having connections to North Korea’s notorious Lazarus Group.
On June 5, Elliptic announced its findings, revealing that Sinbad.io had allegedly laundered over $100 million in cryptocurrencies that were previously stolen by the Lazarus Group. The exact amount that was sent to Sinbad.io from the Atomic Wallet breach remains undisclosed, but it is understood that the stolen assets were converted into Bitcoin (BTC) and subsequently concealed using the cryptocurrency mixer.
Elliptic also proposed the possibility that Sinbad.io may be a reincarnation of Blender.io. Blender.io is another cryptocurrency mixer known for its involvement in money laundering activities with the Lazarus Group. It was the first of such services to face sanctions from the US Treasury Department.
Reports of compromised accounts on Atomic Wallet first emerged on June 3, with estimated losses amounting to $35 million. The Atomic Wallet team initially downplayed the event, claiming that less than 1% of its monthly active users were affected. They also stated that efforts were being made to recover the stolen funds.
However, the findings from Elliptic’s investigation suggest that it may be difficult to recover the funds for many of the victims.
Renowned blockchain analyst, Zachxbt, has been tracking the transactions associated with the stolen funds from Atomic Wallet. The analyst reported that of the stolen $35 million, $1 million has already been recovered and returned to one of the victims.
- Atlas VPN released a research report on crypto crime this week. The report found that hackers have stolen $1.97 billion in Web3 assets since the beginning of 2022.
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