FBI Confirms Lazarus Group as Hackers Behind Harmony Bridge Exploit

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has now confirmed that the notorious North Korean hacker group, the Lazarus Group, was responsible for the exploit on Harmony Bridge last year.

According to the FBI’s announcement on Monday, the North Korean hacker group and APT38, a cyber group with ties to North Korea carried out the $100 million hack on Harmony back in June 2022.

Additionally, the FBI said it is collaborating with other regulators including the National cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia to disrupt the activities of the notorious hacker group who are suspected of funding North Korea’s missile programs.

Therefore the watchdog is committed to exposing and combating the illicit activities of the infamous hacker group used to generate illegal funds for North Korea.

Recall that Harmony layer-1 blockchain’s Horizon Bridge was attacked for around $100 million in altcoins. Most of these stolen assets were later swapped with Ethereum (ETH) and subsequently transferred into the Tornado Cash mixer.

Lazarus Group Transfers Loot from Harmony Hack

Earlier in the month, blockchain sleuth ZachXBT reported that the group have transferred part of the loot from the Harmony heist. The infamous hacker group moved 41,000 ETH worth about $63.5 million at the time. The hackers deployed the crypto mixer app Tornado Cash and Railgun, a privacy smart contract tool to obfuscate the otherwise public trail of the transactions. 

The funds were then deposited into three unnamed exchanges after over 350 addresses were used for the transaction.

Interestingly, the loot from the Harmony heist only represents a fraction of its total steal from the industry. The infamous hacker group has been responsible for some of the devastating attacks on crypto assets service providers according to the Japanese national police. This attack includes the $600 million hack on the Ronin Bridge, which is now regarded as the largest in the industry.

So far, since 2017, the hacking syndicate group has stolen about $1.2 billion worth of cryptocurrency. The group is now posing as a venture capital firm to carry out illegal activities in the sector using malware.