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Poloniex Hacker Moves Ethereum Worth $3.3 Million to Tornado Cash

I’m recent development, one of the hackers from the 2023 Poloniex hack has moved $3.3 million in Ethereum (ETH) to Tornado Cash, a decentralized marketplace that facilitates private transactions. The transfer from the hacker’s wallet took place on Tuesday after almost six months of inactivity.

The transfers were done in batches of 100 Ethereum. Early in 2023, a security breach at Poloniex exposed user credentials and caused significant losses. Specifics of the hack are still being looked into, and cybersecurity specialists think that the hacker obtained private keys to move money illegally directly from  the user’s wallets.

The stolen assets were moved to an unidentified Ethereum address, dormant until this most recent action. Analysis on the Crypto Daily platform says that the hacker’s choice to transfer the money in batches of 100 Ethereum points is a cautious strategy, probably to avoid drawing the notice of blockchain experts and law enforcement.

Experts Say Tornado Cash Complicates Assets Recovery Process, Explains Strategy 

After a protracted period of inactivity, the hacker’s move to Tornado Cash points to a deliberate plot to gain access to and use the stolen money. Cybersecurity researchers are wondering what caused the hacker to act at this time, given the timing of the transfer.

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Theories range from shifts in the market to internal considerations within the hacker’s organization. Crypto Daily’s Amara Khatri explained that it is difficult to identify and freeze stolen money due to the decentralized nature of these networks.

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The Poloniex hacker’s usage of Tornado Cash complicates the inquiry further and makes retrieving assets that have been taken and identifying the offender more challenging. Khatri added that Blockchain analysis tools are getting more advanced despite hackers using a mixer service.

Poloniex Comes Under Heavy Criticism, Issues Statement 

Poloniex, which was under fire for handling the hack, reaffirmed its dedication to client security and working with law enforcement. Recent data by Arkham shows that several wallets operating on different blockchain networks were targeted. The hacker succeeded in sending tokens worth $114 million from 357 different transactions.

Another wallet on the Tron blockchain had also transferred $42 million to multiple wallet addresses. However, Tornado Cash, a protocol known for its ability to alter the original programming of the cryptocurrency token by combining multiple assets across many other cryptocurrency wallets other times, has recently come under intense investigation for witnessing unusual traffic from Lazarus.

Lazarus is the state-sponsored North Korean hacking group. The group has been linked to several cryptocurrency attacks in the United States. The hackers left the stolen funds for 178 days, after which they moved the 100 ETH tokens via 11 different batches to Tornado Cash.

Before the transfer was made, the hacker had already transferred 501 BTC, worth over $32 million to an anonymous wallet on the 30th of April. They have maintained $181 million worth of assets in different blockchains platforms.

Lazarus Indicted, ZachXBT Discloses its Recent Findings

The Lazarus group has been linked to attacks on prominent cryptocurrency companies like Axie Infinity, which lost cryptocurrency assets worth  $625 million to the attack. The report says that all the stolen funds were done with Tornado Cash. The development has gotten the attention of the Treasury Department, causing them to decide on the so-called mixing tool by imposing a heavy sanction on its operations.

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Meanwhile, the United States Treasury Department has also dragged the developers of Alexey Pertsev and  Roman Storm to court for multiple litigations, including the intention to carry out money laundering activities and operate an unauthorized money-transmitting business. 

Cryptocurrency investigator ZachXBT recently disclosed more than $200 million in funds laundered by Lazarus using the Tornado Cash in August 2020 and late October 2023. However, the famous Poloniex hacker also recently transferred an Ethereum token worth $3.3 million to Tornado Cash, a development that has continued to get the attention of the United States authorities.


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Brenda Collins

Brenda Collins is a seasoned crypto news writer with a deep passion for blockchain technology and its transformative potential. With years of experience in the industry, she has honed her skills in delivering concise and insightful analysis, making complex concepts accessible to a wide audience. Brenda's dedication to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in the crypto world ensures her readers receive accurate and timely information.

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