• Norway has seized close to $6 million in crypto funds from Lazarus, a digital currency hacking group stationed in North Korea.
• This is allegedly a new record set by any region and the money stems from an early 2022 hack initiated by Lazarus on the Axie Infinity gaming platform.
• Norway’s senior public prosecutor Marianne Bender commented that this money can be used to finance the North Korean regime and their nuclear weapons program.
Norway Seizes Crypto Funds from North Korea
Norway has seized close to $6 million in crypto funds from Lazarus, a digital currency hacking group stationed in the Asian country of North Korea. This is allegedly a new record set by any region and it is believed that the money stems from an early 2022 hack initiated by Lazarus on the crypto gaming platform Axie Infinity.
North Korean Nuclear Program
It is alleged that North Korea has long been stealing digital currency to fund its ever-growing nuclear program. The country has denied any allegations that it has been involved in crypto theft, but when one compares $5.8 million to $625 million, things don’t look particularly stellar. However, it has been extremely difficult in the past to take digital money back from crypto thieves, much less those trained and endorsed by officials in the North Korean government.
For taking back around $5.8 million dollars at press time, Norway is garnering quite a few accolades for itself as other regions have failed at this task before them. Norway’s senior public prosecutor Marianne Bender commented: “This is money that can be used to finance the North Korean regime and their nuclear weapons program.“
Sky Mavis & Binance Involvement
The company behind Axie Infinity is called Sky Mavis while its founder – Aleksander Larsen – is of Norwegian descent. He thanked police in his native country for doing all they could to get the money back and for showing such promise in retrieving the funds as well as gratitude towards Binance –the world’s largest and most popular digital currency exchange –for assisting Norwegian law enforcement agents with this matter. A spokesperson for Binance responded stating: “When we learn of bad actors on our platform, we intervene and take appropriate action including freezing funds and working with law enforcement to return funds to their rightful owner(s).”
North Korea’s Crypto Stealing History
It has been stated for many years that North Korea has long been trying to make off with illicit crypto funds targeting areas all over Asia, Europe, and even North America lately too. It appears they are now facing some consequences due to these actions thanks largely due to Norway’s successful mission of reclaiming stolen monies stemming from an earlier hack attempt this year