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US Treasury Sanctions the Blender.io Bitcoin Mixer for its Use by the North Korean Hacker Group, Lazarus

US Treasury Sanctions the Blender.io Bitcoin Mixer for its Use by the North Korean Hacker Group, Lazarus

Abstract:

  • The US Treasury Division has sanctioned a cryptocurrency mixer for the primary time
  • Blender.io has been added to the OFAC’s SDN record for helping in illicit transactions that pose a risk to america and for aiding the North Korean hacker group, Lazarus, in laundering stolen funds
  • The US Treasury Division has additionally added 4 Ethereum addresses linked to the Lazarus Group to the SDN record

The US Division of the Treasury’s Workplace of Overseas Property Management (OFAC) has for the primary time sanctioned a cryptocurrency mixer.

In response to the official announcement by the OFAC workplace, the Bitcoin mixer of Blender.io has been sanctioned by the US Treasury for getting used ‘by the Democratic Folks’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to assist its malicious cyber actions and money-laundering of stolen digital foreign money.’

Specifically, the sanctions announcement focuses on the Lazarus Group that carried out the most important DeFi heist to this point on the Ronin Community and Axie Infinity, price $615 million. Blender was reportedly utilized in ‘the laundering course of for DPRK’s Axie Infinity heist, processing over $20.5 million in illicit proceeds.’

Beneath Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Monetary Intelligence Brian E. Nelson, defined:

At this time, for the primary time ever, Treasury is sanctioning a digital foreign money mixer. Digital foreign money mixers that help illicit transactions pose a risk to U.S. nationwide safety pursuits. We’re taking motion towards illicit monetary exercise by the DPRK and won’t enable state-sponsored thievery and its money-laundering enablers to go unanswered.

Like nearly all of blockchain mixers accessible, Blender.io receives a number of Bitcoin transactions and mixes them collectively earlier than transmitting them to their final locations at a price. Nonetheless, Blender doesn’t assure that the outcomes of the blending will fully conceal the originating tackle of the transaction.

The US Treasury has Up to date its OFAC SDN Checklist

Moreover, the US Treasury OFAC workplace has up to date its Particular Designated Nationals and Blocked Individuals (SDN) record to incorporate 4 further Ethereum wallets utilized by the Lazarus Group to launder the rest of the stolen proceeds of the March 2022 Axie Infinity hack. The OFAC workplace has additional supplied a full list of sanctioned addresses on its web site.

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