Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of the Binance crypto exchange, said his team was able to seize $5.8 million from North Korean hackers who last month stole $600 million from the Axie Infinity play-to-earn game.
After the theft, US regulators identified the hackers to be the Lazarus Group, a North Korean entity associated with the regime.
CZ said in a Twitter post today that the exchange was able to recover $5.8 million from hackers who had moved a part of the stolen funds to Binance and spread it over 86 user accounts. He did not clarify who the user accounts belonged to.
Recently, security firm PeckShield reported how the hackers had laundered 7.5% of the stolen funds through Tornado Cash — an Ethereum mixer protocol that obfuscates transactions. The hackers’ efforts may now have shifted to converting the stolen assets into fiat money through centralized exchanges like Binance.
The Axie team previously said that it was working closely with crypto exchanges to track down the stolen funds.
Earlier this month, Binance led a $150 million funding round with the game’s creator, Sky Mavis, aimed at reimbursing victims of the hack.