Axie Infinity Looted Funds Recovery
US’s enforcement agency/department i.e. FBI and Department of Justice, helped authorities in Norway in identifying crypto funds stolen from Axie Infinity.
Resultantly, Norwegian authorities have successfully recovered crypto funds worth over $6 Million. According to sources, this is by far the biggest recovery/seizure of crypto funds which the authorities in Norway have ever made.
The recovery of funds was officially confirmed on Thursday by Okokrim i.e. Norway’s top enforcement agency. The authority confirmed that they had successfully recovered a significant amount of funds.
Through a press release, Okorim confirmed that it has taken into custody 60 million in local currency Kroner (i.e. $5.8 Million approximately).
Norwegian authority further revealed that the operation of recovering stolen funds was made successful with the help of the US FBI and the Department of Justice.
Axie Infinity and Sky Mavis Exploit
Axie Infinity and Sky Mavis were the companies behind the launching of an online multiplayer computer game. They have been involved in the development of several metaverse-based games.
The game is a globally popular and widely played game which is also unique because it is particularly a Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) based game.
However, the hackers came after the game in 2022 and exploited it for stealing crypto funds worth over $620 Million. This was a massive heist that was carried out by the hackers, which left the game out of huge funds.
It has been claimed by Okokrim that the seized crypto funds of $5.8 Million are from the funds stolen in Axie Infinity exploit.
Okokrim stated that it was informed by the FBI and DOJ that a portion of Axie Infinity’s stolen funds was lying in Norway.
At the request of the FBI and DOJ, Okokrim initiated a search and seizure operation, of which specialists from the FBI were also part.
Marianne Bender, Senior Public Prosecutor at Okokrim, said that cross-border cooperation of agencies ensures that the world stands united in preventing crimes.
She said that collective efforts assist in developing and strengthening a society free from crimes.
She further insisted that for preventing crimes in the digital asset industry, cooperation between countries is significantly important and instrumental.
Bender, however, did not provide any further details as to who were the persons from whom the funds have been seized. Neither did she give any specific details as to how the seizure was made possible.
One of the Worsts Attacks in History
Axie Infinity’s exploit in the previous year was one of the worsts attacks that the digital asset and gaming industries had ever seen.
The attack was carried out in March 2022 wherein firstly the network of ‘Ronin’ was taken hostage by the hackers.
After taking control over Ronin, hackers then breached into Sky Mavis network which comprised over four chains of Ronin Validators.
One of the chains included Axie DAO, which was and is the third-party validator of the Ronin network.
The breach allowed the hackers to steal crypto funds worth more than $620 Million.
Globally Notorious North Korean-Linked ‘Lazarus Group’ Found Involved
It was later found out that the Axie Infinity exploit was done by the globally notorious ‘Lazarus Group’ i.e. a North Korean-sponsored organization.
Since the funds were stolen, the criminals were required to first whiten the money by illegal means and then utilize the same.
For this purpose, they were attempting to whiten the money in small portions and Norwegian authorities’ seized funds were one such portion.
Now that the money has been seized, it shall be kept under judicial custody momentarily. After following the procedure, the funds shall be returned to Axie Infinity.
The main perpetrators behind the Axie Infinity exploit are still at a loss and a huge portion of stolen funds remains untraceable so far.