US Treasury Sanctions Eth Address Involved in Axie Infinity $600M Hack

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  • The US Treasury Department has sanctioned an Ethereum address linked to Axie Infinity’s Ronin Validator hack.
  • Anyone interacting with the address risks getting sanctioned themselves, a spokesperson of the Department has warned.

On Thursday, the US Treasury Department sanctioned the Ethereum (ETH) address linked to the over $600M attack on Axie Infinity. For the first time in the history of America, a crypto address has been added to the list of sanctions. 

Of note, the crypto industry has been plagued by cyber-attacks and multi-million thefts since its early inception days. However, the March Axie Infinity compromise of its Ronin Bridge is now ranked among the largest crypto thefts. The attack, slowly orchestrated since late last year, led to the loss of over 170,000 ETH and 25.5 million USD Coin (USDC).

The US Treasury Department has blacklisted the address as it has linked it to the Lazarus Group. The latter is an infamous hacker group in North Korea, which also happens to be on the US list of sanctioned groups. The lot has been accused of bringing in stolen crypto funds to North Korea, which it uses to fund its missile programs – the reason the nation is also sanctioned by the US.

US Treasury Department blacklists address linked to Axie Infinity attack

In the announcement, the Department did not specifically mention the Ronin Bridge. However, several blockchain analytics firms have confirmed that the Axie Infinity sidechain has ties with the blocked Ethereum address. One of these firms, Elliptic, says the hackers have already managed to launder an estimated 14 percent of the stolen funds.

Henceforth, anyone interacting with the blocked Ethereum address risks getting sanctioned. The Treasury Department has warned. In the words of a spokesperson:

Identification of the wallet will make clear to other VC actors, that by transacting with it, they risk exposure to US sanctions.

Additionally:

This demonstrates Treasury’s commitment to using all available authorities to disrupt malicious cyber actors and block ill-gotten criminal proceeds.

Damage repair

Meanwhile, Axie Infinity developers are working on additional security systems to minimize the recurrence of such an event. The attack was a huge blow to the pay-to-earn platform, especially since it was the most popular of its kind. At 2.5 million daily active users, Axie Infinity was a much-referenced platform when talking about blockchain games.

Other than security systems update, Sky Mavis announced a week ago a $150 million fundraising. The Vietnamese gaming studio plans to use the money to compensate victims of the recent hack. Both efforts are concentrating on restoring user trust in the mother of P2E gaming platforms.

“We are still in the process of adding additional security measures before redeploying the Ronin Bridge to mitigate future risk,” a Ronin network blog post noted. The network now plans to deploy the upgraded bridge by the end of this month.


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