Authorities in Norway seize $5.9M from the Axie Infinity hack

Authorities in Norway seize $5.9M from the Axie Infinity hack

Norwegian police have reportedly made a crypto seizure of 60 million kroner ($5.9M) of funds stolen in a hack from the crypto game Axie Infinity in March 2022. 

Investigations into the hack

The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim) acknowledged the seizure as one of the biggest ever made by their police. The police seized funds lost on Axie Infinity, a digital game that fuses NFT collectibles and blockchain.  

In a statement, First State Attorney Marriane Bender said that the case indicated that although criminals use advanced methods, they still can follow the money on the blockchain. 

In March 2022, a North Korean hacker group stole over $600M from Axie Infinity. The hackers laundered most of the proceeds through a privacy mixer called Tornado Cash. Subsequently, Tornado Cash was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department. 

The United Nations released a report earlier in February 2023. The report indicated that actors linked to North Korea stole up to $ 1 billion in crypto assets last year. Most of these attacks were conducted by North Korea’s primary intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau. The Lazarus, Andariel, and Kimsuky groups are part of the agency. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also linked the Lazarus group to the cryptocurrency attack. The FBI added that North Korea uses the thefts to support its program on ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction. 

Losses suffered on the Axie Infinity network

A crypto investor going by the name Young Yujiro on Twitter recently admitted to being hacked on the Ronin network, an Ethereum sidechain for Axie Infinity’s community. 

Young Yujiro expressed disappointment about losing 69 Axies in his inventory and promised to investigate the issue further. He also went live on Facebook on what he called ‘the hardest livestream ever’ to show how the hackers accessed his Ronin Wallet. 

Authorities in Norway seize $5.9M from the Axie Infinity hack - 1

The list of Axies an investor lost on his Ronin Wallet. Source: Young Yujiro Twitter page. 

In another tweet, Business &Crypto made fun of Axie Infinity. The tweet described Axie Infinity as a game where one can earn virtual currency or get real money seized by the Okokrim. 

The online blame game continues

Endorsing the FBI’s claims about the Lazarus group, another crypto enthusiast accused the group of several attacks in the crypto space. Among the alleged attacks is Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge hack.  

In another tweet, an account named “John” claimed that the biggest hack of 2022 happened through an access control hack. John also accused Sky Mavis, the developer behind Axie Infinity, of the attack. 

However, this claim cannot be confirmed, although Sky Mavis took responsibility for the March 2022 hack. The developer promised to tighten security over the Ronin network to prevent future breaches. The firm would also consider circuit breaker solutions to detect when too much money is being moved and pause the transaction automatically.  

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