Washington Sanctions a Cryptocurrency “Mixer” for the First Time

The tool would have been used in the theft of 620 million dollars attributed by the authorities to a group of hackers linked to Pyongyang.

The United States imposed on Friday “for the first time“financial penalties to a”cryptocurrency mixer“, a sophisticated service accused in this case of involvement in the “harmful cyber activitiesand virtual money laundering by North Korea.

This “blender“, Blender.io, is accused by the US Treasury of being linked in part to the “biggest crypto heistto the world, the theft at the end of March of 620 million dollars attributed by the American authorities to a group of hackers linked to Pyongyang. “Virtual Currency Mixers That Promote Illegal Transactions Pose a National Security Threat to the United Statessaid Undersecretary of the Treasury Brian Nelson in a statement.

We are taking action against North Korea’s illegal financial activities and will not leave the thefts supported by this state and its money launderers unaddressed.“, he warned.

Axie Infinity Hack

The American federal police accused the Lazarus group and APT38 of hackers in mid-April.associatesto the reclusive East Asian regime of being responsible for the theft of $620 million in ethereum that followed the Axie Infinity video game hack in late March. The Ronin network, used for this online game, had been the victim of one of the biggest computer attacks involving cryptocurrencies.

Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based game, a decentralized digital ledger that cannot be changed. It allows you to earn money in the form of NFTs, digital tokens. According to the US Treasury, Blender was used in laundering more than $20.5 million of the $620 million stolen.

Blender, which is also the English name for a kitchen blender, is a service that facilitates the laundering of funds extorted by hackers.by blurring the cards on their origin, destination and counterparties“, according to the Treasury.

Under cover of increased discretion“, he “mix together» the miscellaneous transactions that it receives before «transmit to their final recipients“, and is therefore as such “often usedby outlaws, adds the US Department of Treasury, which points out that Blender has helped transfer more than $500 million in Bitcoin since its inception in 2017.


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