North Korea’s notorious hacking group, Lazarus Group, is back in the headlines for allegedly laundering stolen cryptocurrency. According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, the group has transferred over $12 million worth of cryptocurrency to Tornado Cash, a service notorious for its use in obfuscating the origin of digital assets, since March 13th.

These funds reportedly stem from a major cyberattack last November that targeted the HTX cryptocurrency exchange and its associated cross-chain bridge, HTX Eco Chain (HECO). The attack resulted in the theft of a combined $116.6 million – $30 million from HTX exchange wallets and a staggering $86.6 million from the HECO Chain.

This recent development suggests that Lazarus Group is attempting to launder the stolen funds through Tornado Cash. The platform allows users to mix their cryptocurrency with others, making it difficult to trace the origin and destination of the funds. This effectively masks the illicit activity and hinders efforts by authorities to recover the stolen assets.

It’s important to note that Lazarus Group has a well-documented history of cyberattacks targeting cryptocurrency platforms and financial institutions to fund the North Korean regime. This latest incident highlights the ongoing challenge of countering cryptocurrency-based money laundering and the increasing sophistication of cybercriminal groups like Lazarus.

The use of Tornado Cash by Lazarus Group further complicates efforts to track and disrupt their activities. While the platform itself is not illegal, its potential for facilitating money laundering has drawn scrutiny from regulatory bodies around the world. It remains to be seen how authorities will respond to Lazarus Group’s latest attempt to launder stolen funds.