OFAC sanctioned a cryptocurrency cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that use cryptographic technologies to secure their operation. mixer for the first time: Blender. It said it facilitated the Lazarus hackers in laundering more than $20 million of the funds stolen in the Ronin attack.
The U.S. Treasury Department has added a cryptocurrency mixer to its list of entities sanctioned for alleged ties to North Korean hackers.
Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned this Friday Blender.io a cryptocurrency mixing service that obfuscates the origin and destination of transactions. In a communiqué The government agency said the protocol the set of rules that define interactions on a network, usually involving consensus, transaction validation, and network participation on a blockchain. is used by North Korea to “protect the people of North Korea. supporting your malicious cyber activities “and laundering stolen cryptocurrencies.
The Treasury’s “blacklist,” which refers to “ specially appointed citizens “was updated to include several domains from the websites of Blender. A large number of cryptocurrency addresses were also added.
Blender for blacklisting
Specifically, the OFAC statement noted that the hacking hacking is the process of using a computer to manipulate another computer or computer system in an unauthorized fashion. group Lazarus Group which U.S. officials allege is financed by the government of the Republic of North Korea (DPRK), used Blender to launder some of the funds stolen in a recent attack on Ronin Network a network refers to all nodes in the operation of a blockchain at any given moment in time. the network of the popular game Axie Infinity.
The agency said the hackers used the service to process more than $20 million of the almost USD $620 million stolen from Ronin . He also assured that Blender has facilitated the transfer of more than half a billion dollars in Bitcoin the biggest and most popular cryptocurrency in the world. It is a decentralized digital currency that enables users to make trustless peer-to-peer transactions. since its launch in 2017, and noted that it has been involved in several ransomware ransomware is a type of malware used by hackers to steal or encrypt their victims’ files to extort them for a ransom in exchange for file decryption or restoration. attacks.
While the purported purpose is to increase privacy, mixers like Blender are commonly used by illicit actors. Blender has helped transfer over [USD]$500 million in Bitcoin since its inception in 2017. Blender was used in the laundering process for the DPRK’s Axie Infinity heist, processing over [USD]$20.5 million in illicit proceeds.
As he explains Crypto Briefingthe digital currency mixers such as Blender help users preserve their privacy by moving assets to obfuscate their transaction history. They usually work by bundling transactions and sending them to new addresses, allowing users to withdraw their cryptocurrency at a new address ” limpia “.
However, due to their ability to obfuscate cryptocurrency movements, they are often used by hackers to mask their addresses when laundering illicitly obtained funds.
An unprecedented sanction
The sanction sets a precedent, as it is the first time that the said US federal agency has included a cryptocurrency mixer on its blacklist. “ Today, for the first time, [the] Treasury sanctioned a virtual currency currency is a medium of exchange that defines value. exchanger ” Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in the statement.
In addition to the mixer, OFAC also updated its list of sanctioned entities to include 58 digital digital technologies are these electronic tools that have the ability to generate, store or even process data. currency addresses . In particular, 46 addresses of Bitcoin and 12 addresses of Ether the form of payment used in the operation of the distribution application platform, Ethereum. as it is stated in the CoinDesk . All the addresses of Bitcoin were linked to Blender while the ETH addresses were linked to the group Lazarus .
OFAC has already sanctioned a number of addresses linked to the attack on Ronin as well as Lazarus himself since 2019. Last month, the Treasury Department confirmed a connection between the North Korean hacker group with the exploit to the network of Axie . At that time he also added an ETH address a place where cryptocurrency can be sent to and from, in the form of a string of letters and numbers. linked to the hack to his blacklist.
Although OFAC only sanctioned Blender this Friday, other cryptocurrency mixing services such as Tornado Cash cash is the most liquid form of money: physical coins and banknotes in the most narrow sense of the term. have also been involved in the laundering of funds stolen from Ronin . A previous report from the firm Elliptic estimated that about 20% of the cryptocurrencies stolen in that attack were sent to Tornado Cash . The mixing protocolaseguró poco después who worked alongside Chainalysis to block a file containing information on transactions completed during a given time period. Blocks are the constituent parts of a blockchain. OFAC sanctioned addresses.
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Article by Hannah Estefania Perez / DiarioBitcoin
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