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Binance Has Recovered A Small Portion Of The $622mil Stolen, According to Binance CEO

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According to an early morning tweet by exchange CEO Changpeng CZ’ Zhao, Binance has recovered a small portion of the $622 million stolen from Sky Mavis’s Ethereum sidechain Ronin last month.

Axie Infinity, a popular play-to-earn crypto game, is developed by Sky Mavis. 

The North Korean hacker organization behind the crime began channelling part of the wealth on the exchange through “over 86 accounts,” according to Zhao, and “$5.8 million had been retrieved.”

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Following an FBI tip, the US Treasury put the attacker’s Ethereum wallet to its sanctions list just last week.

The wallet, dubbed “Ronin Bridge Exploiter” on Etherscan, was linked to the North Korean hacking outfit Lazarus, which the FBI classifies as “state-sponsored.”

Lazarus is behind numerous big attacks, including the WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017, the Sony Pictures attack in 2014, and a series of cyber raids on pharmaceutical businesses in 2020, notably AstraZeneca, the makers of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Ronin attacker was caught sending $7 million in cryptocurrency to Tornado Cash earlier this month, a tool that obfuscates crypto transactions by acting as an intermediary and destroying the on-chain link between the source of funds and their destination.

Sky Mavis of Axie Infinity built a bespoke Ronin sidechain that connects to Ethereum. It wasn’t until March 29 that the theft was detected.