Bitcoin Infrastructure Protocol Alex Lab Blames Lazarus Group for $4.3 Million Exploit

UTC by Chimamanda U. Martha · 3 min read
Bitcoin Infrastructure Protocol Alex Lab Blames Lazarus Group for $4.3 Million Exploit
Photo: Depositphotos

Alex Lab, a Bitcoin-based blockchain protocol for DeFi, revealed that the Lazarus Group, a notorious North Korean cybercriminal group, orchestrated a recent cyberattack causing a $4.3 million loss.

This revelation comes after a comprehensive investigation conducted by Alex Lab’s expert team, in collaboration with independent blockchain investigator ZachXBT.

In a social media post on Tuesday, Alex Lab revealed that it had identified three wallets involved in the exploit, all of which belonged to the infamous North Korean hackers. These hackers are rumored to be backed by the North Korean government and have a history of numerous exploits and scams.

The company stated that with the help of ZachXBT, they had gathered enough evidence to link the hackers to the attack on their platform, which occurred on May 15, 2024.

“After extensive forensic analysis and investigations facilitated by blockchain analyst @Zachxbt, who provided critical assistance in transaction tracing, there is substantial transaction evidence linking the attack to the Lazarus Group,” Alex Lab reported.

The Attack and Its Impact

Alex Lab was among several blockchain platforms targeted by cybercriminals last month. The attackers exploited vulnerabilities in Alex Lab’s XLink bridge, a feature designed to help users move their assets across different blockchains.

The exploit resulted in the theft of $4.3 million, including $300,000 worth of Bitcoin (BTC), $3.3 million worth of stablecoins, and $75,000 worth of Sugar Kingdom (SKO) tokens.

At the time of the attack, the Alex Foundation, the nonprofit organization managing the platform, claimed they had identified the attacker and offered a 10% bounty in exchange for the return of 90% of the stolen funds. The organization even set a deadline of May 18 for the culprits to comply.

“ALEX Lab Foundation has identified the individual responsible for the recent security breach and is offering a resolution through a bounty arrangement,” the platform wrote on X.

However, when the deadline passed without any response from the hackers, Alex Lab attributed the attack to the Lazarus Group.

The platform said it is currently working with law enforcement to secure the return of the stolen funds. Alex Lab has also strengthened its security protocols to prevent future incidents.

A History of High-Profile Hacks

Meanwhile, this is not the first time the Lazarus Group has been linked to an attack in the crypto industry. The group is known for high-profile hacks, including the Ronin Network attack in 2022, which resulted in a $650 million loss, and the $100 million exploit on the Harmony bridge.

In June 2023, blockchain security firm Elliptic reported the hackers may also be responsible for the theft of $35 million stolen from Atomic Wallet.

That same year, another cyber security firm Recorded Future revealed that the group had stolen a total of $3 billion from the crypto industry in nearly seven years.

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