The FBI confirms that the North Korean Lazarus Group was responsible for the infamous ‘Harmony Horizen bridge hack’ of last June. North Korea is known for hacking crypto projects more often in order to finance weapons and other things, the FBI says.
The Harmony hack
Horizen is a so-called cross chain bridge, or bridge, to move assets between Harmony and networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The platform was hacked for over $100 million in June 2022. For a long time there were rumors that North Korean hackers were behind the incident, but now the FBI has confirmed that. The North Koreans then sent those funds to stock exchange platforms via the RAILGUN privacy protocol.
A small part of the funds was stopped by Binance, which was able to hit the proverbial brake in time and warn another exchange. However, that did not yield much, because that was ‘only’ 2.6 million dollars of the more than 100 million that was stolen in June.
The interesting thing about blockchain is that technology makes it possible to track funds in great detail. In this case that happened and it also shows how difficult it is for criminals to convert funds from the crypto world into fiat money.
Not the first time
Incidentally, it is not the first time that the North Korean Lazarus Group has been linked to a gigantic hack. Earlier, their name was also mentioned in relation to the Ronin hack, in which more than $ 600 million in capital was captured.
What exactly North Korea does with those funds is not clear. The rumors are that they mainly use it for weapons programs in the nuclear sphere, and of course no one is happy about that.
If all of this is true, it’s a good thing the FBI is stepping in and putting an end to Lazarus Group’s attempts to attack projects.