Binance and Huobi Freeze $1.4M in Crypto Tied to Harmony Bridge Theft

Tracing firm Elliptic said it followed the money through Tornado Cash.

AccessTimeIconFeb 15, 2023 at 12:48 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:08 a.m. UTC
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Crypto exchanges Binance and Huobi on Tuesday froze $1.4 million in crypto tied to the Harmony Bridge heist and its alleged North Korean hackers, according to crypto tracing firm Elliptic.

In a blog post, Elliptic said it provided intelligence to the two exchanges that prompted them to freeze accounts. It said it traced the funds back to the $100 million hack of a “bridge” that allowed Harmony blockchain users to move crypto assets between different ecosystems.

Binance and Huobi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Federal investigators have credited North Korea’s infamous hacker wing the Lazarus Group with attacking the bridge as part of their multi-year campaign to steal hundreds of millions of crypto dollars from exchanges and infrastructure. That campaign funds North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, investigators have said.

Elliptic further claimed it followed the now-frozen Harmony funds through Tornado Cash, the privacy-focused mixing service that purports to hide one’s tracks on the public Ethereum ledger. The U.S. sanctioned Tornado Cash because of its alleged use by North Korean hackers.

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Danny Nelson

Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.


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