US Treasury sanctions 3 Ethereum addresses related to North Korea

In an apparent attempt to prevent North Korea from avoiding the United States and UN sanctions, the government department placed the addresses on a list.

Sanctions on three Ethereum addresses related to the hacking gang responsible for the loss of more than $600 million in crypto from Axie Infinity’s Ronin sidechain have been added by the US Treasury Department.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, has added three Ethereum addresses to its list of Specially Designated Nationals for North Korea’s Lazarus Group, effective Friday. More than 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC were allegedly stolen from the Ronin sidechain in March, which was valued at more than $600 million at the time, by a consortium of US officials, including the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

According to a Friday tweet from the US government agency, the addresses were added to the list so that North Korea cannot evade sanctions imposed by the US and UN. One of the Ronin hackers’ wallets seems to have transmitted payments to Tornado Cash and other crypto-mixing businesses, according to blockchain data.

In January, Chainalysis stated that North Korea had stolen around $400 million in bitcoin via hacks in 2021, making the Ronin heist its biggest yet. Ether made up 58%, Bitcoin 20%, and other tokens 22% of the illicit cash related to hacking gangs in this secluded country.

ETH addresses were the most recent addition to OFAC’s list of identifiers for sanctioned states’ digital assets. Russia-based marketplace Hydra and digital currency exchange Garantex, as well as crypto mining business BitRiver, were targeted by the government department in April for suspected ties to ransomware attacks and other cybercrime.

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