The United States Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) introduced Friday that it was sanctioning cryptocurrency mixer Blender.io for its position in laundering proceeds from the hacking of Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge. North Korean state-sponsored hackers Lazarus Group have been recognized because the perpetrators of the assault.
Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson mentioned in a press release:
“Today, for the first time ever, Treasury is sanctioning a virtual currency mixer. […] We are taking action against illicit financial activity by the DPRK and will not allow state-sponsored thievery and its money-laundering enablers to go unanswered.”
Under the sanctions, all Blender.io property within the United States or within the possession of U.S. individuals is blocked and have to be reported to OFAC.
According to OFAC, Blender.io processed $20.5 million out of roughly $620 million stolen from the Vietnam-based play-to-earn sport within the type of roughly 173,600 Ether (ETH) and 25.5 million USD Coin (USDC). OFAC additionally discovered throughout its investigation that Blender.io had facilitated cash laundering for Russia-linked ransomware teams together with Trickbot, Conti, Ryuk, Sodinokibi and Gandcrab. The Blender.io web site was offline on the time of writing.
The Treasury company additionally added the addresses of 4 wallets utilized by Lazarus Group to launder among the stolen funds to its List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons.
Related: US Treasury Dept sanctions 3 Ethereum addresses allegedly linked to North Korea
There has been a safety breach on the Ronin Network.https://t.co/ktAp9w5qpP
— Ronin (@Ronin_Network) March 29, 2022
The Ronin Bridge hack passed off on March 23, however it was solely found the next week. The bridge was accessed by way of sport developer Sky Mavis. That group had been indefinitely whitelisted after serving to course of a surge in transactions. Sky Mavis raised $150 million to reimburse customers who misplaced cash within the exploit, and Binance was capable of get better $5.8 million of the cash from 86 accounts. Lazarus Group was recognized because the hackers by OFAC in mid-April.