ZachXBT Uncovers How Lazarus Group Launders Money

As an experienced cybersecurity analyst, I find the investigation into Lazarus Group’s cryptocurrency theft activities deeply concerning. With a history dating back to 2009 and over $3 billion worth of assets stolen in the six years leading up to 2023, this North Korean group has proven itself to be one of the most sophisticated and prolific cybercriminal organizations in the cryptocurrency space.

As a researcher, I’ve uncovered some intriguing findings regarding the Lazarus Group, a North Korean entity. According to my investigation led by the renowned crypto sleuth ZachXBT, this group managed to exchange approximately $200 million worth of cryptocurrencies into fiat money between August 2020 and October 2023.

The investigation analyzed over twenty-five weaknesses in various blockchain systems. It traced the flow of illicitly obtained funds, passing through mixers, peer-to-peer markets, and centralized exchanges, to illustrate how these funds were taken out of the cryptocurrency sphere.

On Monday, ZachXBT expressed on X that over thousand individuals in the related field have experienced Lazarus Group attacks firsthand or indirectly, with the affected population likely expanding further.

ZachXBT pointed out accounts on Noones and Paxful, two peer-to-peer marketplaces, which had received transferred cryptocurrencies from hacks and subsequently exchanged them for fiat currency.

The Lazarus Group is responsible for pilfering funds through sophisticated cyberassaults. Notably, they have been implicated in high-profile cryptocurrency heists like the $100 million Harmony bridge breach in January 2023 and the Ronin bridge robbery in March 2022.

According to the findings of the research, the stolen funds were initially converted into USDT, a stablecoin, and subsequently exchanged for real cash which was then withdrawn. Previously, the company had utilized OTC traders based in China for converting cryptocurrencies into fiat currency.

In November 2023, Tether prevented over $374,000 of alleged stolen funds from being used on its platform. Furthermore, according to ZachXBT’s report, three stablecoin issuers have blocked an extra $3.4 million that were traced back to a cluster of suspect addresses linked to Lazarus.

Since its emergence in 2009, the notorious hacking collective known as Lazarus Group has been responsible for stealing cryptocurrency assets worth over $3 billion during the six years leading up to 2023.

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2024-04-29 18:44