The FBI claims hacking groups linked to North Korea are behind the heist of a US crypto firm

Jan 23 (Reuters) – Two hacking groups linked to North Korea, the Lazarus Group and APT38, were responsible for last June’s theft of $100 million from U.S. crypto firm Harmony’s Horizon bridge, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday.

On Jan. 13, the groups used a privacy protocol called Railgun to launder more than $60 million worth of ethereum stolen in the June heist, the FBI said in a statement

Some of the stolen ethereum was subsequently sent to several virtual asset providers and converted to bitcoin, the FBI said.

The FBI said North Korea’s theft and laundering of virtual currency is being used to support its ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs.

In June of last year, California-based Harmony said a heist had affected its Horizon Bridge, which is the main software used by digital tokens like Bitcoin and Ether to transfer crypto between different blockchains.

Reuters reported in June that North Korean hackers were most likely behind the attack on Harmony, citing three digital investigations firms.

Harmony is developing blockchains for decentralized finance — peer-to-peer sites that offer loans and other services without traditional gatekeepers like banks — and non-fungible tokens.

Reporting by Sneha Bhowmik in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler

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