Hackers used a privacy protocol called RAILGUN to try to conceal their transactions.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has concluded its investigations into last year’s crypto hack that saw US-based Harmony protocol, lose $100 million worth of crypto. According to the FBI, the investigation has revealed that the June attack was perpetrated by two North Korea-backed hacking groups. They are the Lazarus Group and the APT38. Interestingly, the finding is not far off from earlier suspicions that made the rounds shortly after the massive exploit happened.
Meanwhile, the breakthrough came on January 13 when the bad actors attempted to move over $60 million of ETH that they stole during the attack. The FBI confirms that the hackers used a privacy protocol called RAILGUN to try to conceal their transactions. They were able to send some of the funds to various crypto exchanges and convert them to Bitcoin. However, some exchanges were also able to freeze and recover the remaining funds while the hackers attempted to swap them for Bitcoin.
More Than Just Hack, Says FBI
For what it’s worth, the number of such attacks being perpetrated by North Korean cyber groups has been on the rise. Lazarus Group was said to have been responsible for the $625 million Ronin bridge hack. And per an Associated Press report, North Korean hackers have stolen at least $1.2 billion worth of cryptocurrency since 2017.
However, these groups reportedly do more than just hacks. They also front as venture capitalists, banks, or recruiters at other times. Nonetheless, the FBI has vowed to do everything within its power to check the antics of North Korea. Part of the statement reads:
“The FBI will continue to expose and combat the DPRK’s use of illicit activities – including cybercrime and virtual currency theft – to generate revenue for the regime.”
Furthermore, the FBI also claims that North Korea has a mission. That is to use the laundering of virtual currency to finance its missiles and weapons programs. However, the body says it will continue collaborating with its investigative partners to frustrate their efforts.