FBI Says North Korea Was Behind $100m Harmony Hack

Source:
Butenkow/Adobe

The
United
States
Federal
Bureau
of
Investigation
(FBI)
has
blamed

North
Korean
hackers
for
the

attack
last
year
on
the
cross-chain
bridge
provider
Harmony.
The
Harmony
Horizon
bridge
was
compromised
in
June
2022,
with
hackers
making
off
with
$100
million
worth
of
crypto.

The
FBI,

Reuters
and

Yonhap
reported,
blamed
“two
hacker
groups
associated
with
North
Korea”
for
the
breach:
namely
the
Lazarus
Group
and
APT38.

And
the
bureau
claimed
that
on
January
13,
the
groups
“used
a
privacy
protocol
called
Railgun
to
launder
over
$60
million”
worth
of
their
funds.
It
claimed
that
a
“portion”
of
the

Ethereum
(ETH)
stolen
in
the
raid
“was
subsequently
sent
to
several
virtual
asset
providers
and
converted
to
Bitcoin.”

Railgun
is
an
anonymizing
tool
that
grants
certain
levels
of
privacy
protection
to
transactions.

Earlier
this
month,
the
head
of
the
crypto
exchange
Binance
claimed
the
platform
had
stopped
a
hacker
in
their
tracks

and
had
teamed
up
with
rival
Huobi
as
part
of
a
joint
effort.

A
notable
Twitter-based
“on-chain
sleuth”
also
spoke
of
Railgun-related
activities
on
January
15.

And
the
FBI
repeated
claims

echoed
by
intelligence
agencies
in
South
Korea
and
the
UN

that
the
North’s
“theft
and
laundering”
of
crypto
is
“used
to
support
its
ballistic
missile
and
Weapons
of
Mass
Destruction
programs.”

North
Korea’s
‘$1.2bn
Crypto
Hacking
Haul’

Multiple
private-sector
security
providers
last
year
claimed
to
have
evidence
that
Lazarus
and
other
North
Korean
hackers
had
mounted
the
Harmony
attack.

Quoting
data
from
the
blockchain
analytics
firm
Chainalysis,
Yonhap
noted
that
a
total
of
$2
billion
worth
of
crypto
was
stolen
in
13
hacks
targeting
bridges
last
year.

Harmony
develops
blockchain
networks
for
decentralized
finance
(DeFi)
players.

South
Korea’s
National
Intelligence
Service
last
year
claimed
that
North
Korean
hackers
have

stolen
some
$1.2
billion
worth
of
crypto
over
the
past
five
years.
The
NIS
added
that
$78
million
of
that
total
was
stolen
from
South
Korean
targets.