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Illegal funds from the $35 million Atomic Wallet hack were transferred to a cryptocurrency mixer known to be popular with North Korea’s most notorious cyber hacking group.
On June 5, blockchain compliance analytics firm Elliptic reported that its investigation team had traced funds from the $35 million Atomic Wallet hack to cryptocurrency mixer Sinbad.io.
He claims that the mixing service was previously used to launder more than $100 million worth of crypto assets stolen by the North Korean Lazarus Group.
Elliptic did not specify how much was sent to the mixer, but noted that the mining was exchanged for bitcoin (BTC) before being obfuscated through the mixer.
Analysis of the ongoing Atomic Wallet hack, from our new Investigations Team account @Elliptic_Inv https://t.co/gbm3dX34JB
— Elliptic (@elliptic) June 5, 2023
The firm also revealed that Sinbad.io is likely to be a rebranded version of Blender.io, “another mixer heavily used to launder Lazarus Group funds,” and the first mixer to be sanctioned by the US Treasury Department.
On June 3, several Atomic Wallet user accounts were compromised, resulting in losses of up to $35 million. However, the firm downplayed the incident, saying the attack affected less than 1% of monthly active users.
Atomic Wallet CMO Roland Sede told Cointelegraph that the team is “doing everything we can to get these funds back,” before adding, “In order to create a concrete plan, the investigation must be completed.”
“Of course the team is devastated as we were very proud of our safety. We are working around the clock to resolve everything and come out of this crisis stronger than before.”
Related: Atomic wallet usage, users report losing entire portfolios
He suggested that victims monitor illegal transfers and report them to the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, which “may prevent scammers from exchanging their funds.”
“Of course, we also report them directly, but the more eyes hackers have, the harder it is for them to move them,” he said.
However, in light of Elliptic’s recent discoveries, it may be too late for many.