FBI: Lazarus Group carried out Harmony’s Horizon Protocol attack
The FBI has come forward to announce that the North Korean hacking group Lazarus was responsible for last year's exploit.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed on Jan. 23 that Lazarus Group was responsible for last year’s attack on Harmony’s Horizon Protocol.
The FBI said that its ongoing investigations have confirmed that Lazarus Group (and the subunit or overlapping group APT-38) were involved in the attack on Horizon. Lazarus Group and its associated groups are sponsored by the North Korean government.
The FBI added that it is working to recover crypto stolen by North Korean groups in order to deprive the country of funding for missile and WMD development.
Railgun money laundering attempt
Last week, more than $60 million of crypto tied to the attack began to move over the Ethereum-based privacy network Railgun in an attempt at money laundering.
The FBI said that those responsible for the theft sent their ill-gotten gains to various crypto exchanges and converted those assets to Bitcoin. The agency said that it froze a portion of the stolen funds with the help of the involved crypto exchanges. It also said that the attackers moved any funds that were not frozen to 11 other addresses.
Though the FBI did not identify which exchanges helped to freeze accounts, reports suggest that Binance and Huobi recovered slightly less than $3 million of funds in mid-January.
The Horizon hack
Horizon was originally exploited for $100 million in June 2022. Though Lazarus Group’s involvement in the attack was not confirmed until today, it has been the main suspect since the attack on Horizon was first reported last summer. Findings from the analytics firm Elliptic suggested that fact shortly after the attack occurred.
Lazarus Group has been tied to other crypto hacks as well — including attacks on the Ronin Network and various Japanese blockchain firms.