Cryptocurrency laundering spike driven by Lazarus Group

Nearly $900 million worth of cryptocurrency had been laundered by North Korea's Lazarus Group through cross-chain bridges from July 2022 to July 2023, making the state-backed hacking operation a primary driver of the 111% growth in proceeds sent through cross-chain bridges during the same period, The Hacker News reports. Almost $240 million worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen by Lazarus since June, most of which was obtained during its $100 million heist against Atomic Wallet, according to an Elliptic report. While over 9,500 Bitcoin was deposited by Lazarus through Avalanche Bridge, other stolen assets were transferred using other cross-chain approaches, indicating the sophistication of the group's cryptocurrency laundering operations. "As is evidenced by the assets ending up on the same blockchain on numerous occasions, these transactions have no legitimate business purpose other than to obfuscate their origin. Bridging back-and-forth for the sake of obfuscation i.e. 'chain-hopping' is now a recognized money laundering typology," said Elliptic.

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