U.S. Treasury Sanctions Three Ethereum (ETH) Wallets With Ties to North Korean Hacker Group


The U.S. Department of the Treasury is sanctioning three Ethereum (ETH) wallets connected to the North Korean hacking group reportedly behind last month’s Ronin Network attack.

According to a new tweet by the Treasury Department, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is adding three ETH addresses associated with the North Korean Lazarus Group to the specially designated nationals and blocked persons list (SDN).

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“OFAC added three virtual currency wallet addresses to the SDN Listing for Lazarus Group. The DPRK (Democratic Republic of North Korea) has relied on illicit activities like cybercrime to generate revenue while trying to evade US and UN sanctions. Transacting with these [addresses] risks exposure to US sanctions.”

The wallets were officially added to the SDN list on April 22nd.

Ethereum search engine Etherscan has identified one of the wallets as one of the addresses involved in last month’s Ronin bridge exploit, which saw hundreds of millions of dollars worth of digital assets stolen from popular gaming metaverse platform Axie Infinity (AXS).

The ETH wallet in question currently contains nearly $280 million worth of top altcoin Ethereum.

The Ronin Network, an Ethereum-linked sidechain specifically made for AXS, first announced it had been hacked in late March to the tune of 173,000 Ether and 25.5 million of stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), worth about a combined $600 million.

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Earlier this month, the Treasury Department announced that North Korean hackers were behind the exploit.

Market intelligence firm Chainalysis also made the link between one of the ETH addresses listed in the SDN and the Lazarus Group.

“The attribution of the Ronin hack to Lazarus Group underlines two industry needs Chainalysis has highlighted previously: understanding how DPRK-affiliated threat actors exploit crypto and better security for decentralized finance protocols.”

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