Feds seize Sinbad crypto mixer allegedly used by North Korean hackers

As part of an international law enforcement investigation, the FBI and the Dutch Financial Intelligence and Investigation Service seized the websites of a crypto mixer allegedly used by North Korean hackers and some cybercriminals to launder the loot. funds and obfuscate transactions.

On Wednesday, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the government department that oversees and enforces sanctions against foreign individuals and organizations, announced that it had authorized Sinbad, a Bitcoin mixer that “serves as a key money-laundering tool” for the Lazarus Group, a prolific hacking group widely believed to be working for the North Korean government.

OFAC said in a statement that the Sinbad crypto mixer processed “millions of dollars worth of virtual currency from the Lazarus Group heists,” including part of the proceeds from the massive 2022 hacks of Horizon Bridge and Axie Infinity, which resulted in $100 million and $625 million respectively one.

“Combining services that enable criminal actors, such as the Lazarus Group, to launder stolen assets will face serious consequences,” US Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo was quoted as saying. said the press release. “The Department of the Treasury and US government partners are ready to deploy all the tools at their disposal to prevent virtual currency mixers, like Sinbad, from facilitating illegal activities. Meanwhile we encourage responsible that is changing the digital asset ecosystem, we will not hesitate to act against illegal actors.

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice declined to comment.

Cryptocurrency monitoring firm Elliptic previously claimed that the Lazarus Group laundered the crypto they stole from Sinbad’s Atomic Wallet. Atomic Wallet is a decentralized wallet, which said in June that nearly 50,000 of its customers had their cryptocurrency stolen in a hack, resulting in a total loss of $35 million.

Tom Robinson, the chief scientist and co-founder of Elliptic, told TechCrunch that Sinbad was used to launder the funds stolen in the hacks of Stake.com ($41 million), CoinEx ($70 million), FTX ($477 million), BadgerDAO ($120). million) and so on.

Sinbad websites began showing an FBI seizure notice on Wednesday.

In February, the founder of Sinbad, who asked to be called Mehdi, told Wired that, “Sinbad is on the clearnet because it can do no harm.”

According to the Bleeping ComputerSinbad’s dark web site is also no longer available.

Sinbad is the latest in a growing list of crypto mixers sanctioned by the US government, including Tornado Cash and Blender.io, In its press release, OFAC said that Sinbad “indiscriminately facilitates the illegal transactions.”

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