Key points to remember
- The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned three North Korean crypto addresses.
- These addresses are linked to the Lazarus Group, which carried out a $551 million attack on the Ronin blockchain last month.
- Two of the addresses interacted with another Ethereum address initially sanctioned on April 14.
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The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned several North Korean Ethereum wallets linked to a hack of the Ronin blockchain that took place last month.
The Treasury sanctions three addresses
In a Twitter post dated April 22, the US Treasury says that it had added three cryptocurrency wallet addresses to its National Specially Designated (SDN) List and Blocked People.
The Treasury added that North Korea “has relied on illicit activities like cybercrime to generate revenue” and that the country has tried to evade sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations.
In addition to the three new addresses listed today, one address was originally sanctioned on April 14. The three addresses listed today have interacted with this original address, either directly or indirectly.
The Treasury also said that anyone who transacts with the designated addresses “risks being exposed to U.S. sanctions themselves.” As such, it is possible that further sanctions are pending.
Addresses linked to the Lazarus group
The Treasury sanctions list shows that the designated accounts are Ethereum-based addresses belonging to the Lazarus Group, a state-backed hacking group based in North Korea.
Lazarus Group was behind a $551.8 million exploit in March that targeted Axie Infinity and the Ronin blockchain. Both products have the same parent company, Sky Mavis.
Today’s update did not specifically state that the new penalties were related to the attack on these platforms. However, the recentness of the Ronin attack, combined with the fact that Ethereum addresses were listed, makes it the most likely cause for the update.
By the way, Binance announced today that it has recovered $5 million stolen during the attack on the Ronin blockchain.
The Ethereum coin mixing service Tornado Cash has also says that this would block OFAC sanction addresses last week.
Disclosure: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.
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