Address Poisoning Exploiters Returns $153,000 ETH of Stolen Funds

Chainalysis Observes Lazarus Group Migrated to YoMix Following Ban of Sinbad Mixer

As the global law enforcers intensify their regulatory action against the North Korean hackers, the criminals have advanced their skills in money laundering. In an official publication, the Chainalysis team noted that the Lazarus Group are using a new approach to launder illicit funds.

Besides devising new ways to conduct their unlawful activities, the Chainalysis team observed that the Lazarus Group had shifted their operation to cross-chain bridges.

Lazarus Group Explore New Ways to Conduct Illicit Activities

In the report, the blockchain analytic firm underlined that the Lazarus Group has been the mastermind behind the Coincheck and Atomic multimillion-dollar attack. A review of a recent report demonstrated that most of the cyber-related crimes launched by Lazarus Group involved Tornado Cash mixer and Sinbad mixer.

Occassionally, the Lazarus team preferred Tornado Cash mixer to other crypto wallets due to the anonymous nature of these wallets. This forced the law enforcers to take immediate action to address the matter by blocking the Tornado Cash wallets.

Following the restrictive measures imposed by the US regulators, the troublesome hackers migrated to a new mixer dubbed YoMix.The Chainalysis team observed that funds transferred through the Yo Mix wallet increased exceedingly from last year.

Chainalysis Investigates Operations of Lazarus Group

The blockchain analytics firm noted that the inflows on the Yo Mix wallet increased fivefold. Beyond this, the Chainalysis team observed that one-third of the Yo Mix inflows were obtained from crypto hacks.

Based on the impressive growth of these Bitcoin mixers the analyst argued that the Lazarus team played a significant role in the growth of the YoMix wallet. This demonstrates that the Lazarus team are flexible to adopt changes. For years the Lazarus team has sought to obfuscate their operation through a digital wallet conceals transaction details.

Apart from using the Yo Mix wallet, the Chainalysis team noted that the Lazarus team have a growing interest in cross-chain bridges.

A 2023 report indicates that bridging protocols facilitated the transfer of $743.8 million in illicit crypto assets, a 50% increase from 2022. This implies that the Lazarus team occasionally laundered their illicit funds through cross-chain bridges.

The Chainalysis team noted that in 2023, the Lazarus team sent $22.2 million crypto to multiple wallets and decentralized platforms that hide the source of the funds. The analyst observed that after the US regulators banned crypto mixers, cybercriminals developed new methods to launder illicit funds.

Rise of Cyber Attacks

According to Chainalysis, around $504.3 million crypto was transferred through crypto mixers, a significant drop from $1 billion in 2022. The report demonstrated that the anonymous feature on crypto assets had attracted hackers to loom in the centralized exchanges for nearly a decade.

A review of the 2023 report indicated the hackers channelled over $10 million of crypto across 109 exchanges. After computing the number of illicit funds wired through  crypto exchanges, the Chainalysis team noted that over $3.4 billion was linked to hackers in 2023.

The amount varied from the 2022 report, where only 40 addresses received roughly $10 million of crypto from illicit activities. Compared to other cybercrime activities, Chainalysis noted that the exploits launched by the Lazarus Group differed from the rest.

The analyst noted that online scammers and darknet scam channelled their illicit funds through deposit addresses. They noted that hackers in the crypto sector were diversifying their money laundering activities to different platforms to hide illegal transfers.

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