Alex Lab Links $4 Million Hack to North Korea’s Lazarus Group

Alex Lab, a Bitcoin DeFi protocol, announces that its recent $4 million exploit was likely carried out by the North Korea-backed Lazarus Group, based on transaction evidence uncovered during investigations.

Key Insights

  • Alex Lab announces that its recent $4 million exploit was likely carried out by the North Korea-backed Lazarus Group.
  • The project is working with international law enforcement and crypto exchanges to freeze and potentially recover stolen assets.
  • This incident is part of a larger trend of North Korean-affiliated cyber attacks on cryptocurrency platforms.

SEOUL (MarketsXplora) – Bitcoin DeFi protocol Alex Lab has announced that the $4 million exploit it suffered last month was likely orchestrated by the Lazarus Group, a notorious cyber-hacking entity believed to be backed by North Korea.

In a statement posted on social media platform X on Tuesday, Alex Lab revealed that extensive investigations, aided by crypto investigator ZachXBT, uncovered “substantial transaction evidence” connecting the attack to the Lazarus Group.

“We have identified two crucial addresses – an initial exploit link and an address connected to the Lazarus Group – which were instrumental in tracing the flow of stolen assets,” the project stated.

The hack, which occurred on May 16, was initially attributed to a phishing attack that compromised private keys, allowing the exploiter to drain assets from the ALEX protocol. Blockchain security firm Certik estimated the losses at approximately $4.3 million.

Alex Lab emphasized its ongoing collaboration with international law enforcement and cybersecurity experts to address the attack’s implications and recover lost assets. The project has also facilitated communication between Singaporean police and relevant cryptocurrency exchanges to secure the stolen funds during the investigation.

“Many of the STX tokens we traced to centralized exchanges are currently frozen, with the exchanges indicating they will maintain the freeze pending police investigations,” Alex Lab stated in a separate post.

The project promised to update affected users once these frozen funds can be returned.

The announcement has impacted the ALEX token, which traded down 3.2% over the past 24 hours at the time of publication, according to data from cryptocurrency price tracker CoinGecko.

This incident adds to a growing trend of North Korean-affiliated cyber attacks on cryptocurrency platforms. Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis reported that North Korean hackers targeted a record 20 cryptocurrency platforms in 2023, contributing to over $1 billion in illicit gains for Pyongyang last year.

Read also! CoinEx $55 Million Hack Traced to North Korean Hackers Lazarus Group

The Lazarus Group, in particular, has been implicated in laundering over $200 million worth of stolen cryptocurrency between 2020 and 2023. The group reportedly employed a combination of mixing services and peer-to-peer marketplaces to obscure the origins of the stolen funds.

As investigations continue, the cryptocurrency community remains on high alert, with projects and exchanges implementing enhanced security measures to protect against similar exploits in the future.

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