Binance and Huobi freeze $1.4 million worth of crypto from North Korean hackers

Binance and Huobi, two of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, have again frozen accounts linked to North Korean hackers. These are accounts where funds are raised from the Harmony Horizon bridge hack of $ 100 million from June 2022. As a result of the actions of Binance and Huobi, $ 1.4 million worth of crypto has been frozen.

Examination of Elliptic

The investigation into the stolen funds was done by Elliptic, which shared the results with the exchange platforms, which could then take action. Binance and Huobi today froze accounts containing $1.4 million in stolen funds from North Korea’s Lazarus Group. This was possible thanks to the information provided by Elliptic and the rapid response of the exchanges,” Elliptic said on Twitter.

Since the Harmony hack, it has become clear that North Korean hackers are using Ethereum-based Tornado Cash to cover their tracks on the blockchain. In theory, this makes it possible to convert the funds into fiat money at exchange platforms.

In this case, however, Elliptic researchers managed to trace the funds, despite the hackers using Tornado Cash to cover their tracks. According to Elliptic CEO Simone Maini, this shows the industry is taking responsibility to stop money laundering and prevent crypto from being a “safe haven” to turn stolen funds into fiat money.

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Binance and Huobi are working together

It is not the first time that Binance and Huobi have collaborated on this subject. On January 16, the two exchange platforms also managed to freeze and retrieve 121 Bitcoin. Those bitcoins were worth $2.5 million at the time and were also linked to the Harmony hack.

However, that amount, according to individual researcher ZachXBT, was a fraction of the total of the $63.5 million worth of crypto laundered that weekend. According to ZachXBT, the funds were routed through the Ethereum-based privacy protocol Railgun before heading to three different exchanges.

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