• Norway’s Økokrim, in collaboration with the FBI and DOJ, have seized $6 million that was stolen from the Axie Infinity heist.
• The attackers are believed to be North Korean hacker group Lazarus and the money was laundered through crypto mixer Blender.io.
• This is the biggest crypto seizure Norwegian police have ever made and reflects successful international cooperation between law enforcement agencies.
Norwegian Authorities Seize Crypto Worth $6M From Axie Infinity Heist With FBI’s Help
Background of Attack
Axie Infinity suffered an attack in March last year after the Ronin network validators were compromised resulting a reported loss of $620 million. The attacker managed to get control over Sky Mavis’s four Ronin Validators and a third-party validator run by Axie DAO, according to Sky Mavis. It is believed that North Korean hacker group Lazarus was behind the heist.
International Cooperation for Recovery
Norwegian authorities, in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), have allegedly seized about $6 million that was stolen in last year’s Axie Infinity heist. Økokrim explained that it has seized 60 million kroner (approximately $5.8 million) in cryptocurrency in connection with this attack and money laundering operation immediately after the attack which processed over $20.5 million in illicit proceeds via Blenderio – a crypto mixer sanctioned by OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control).
Biggest Crypto Seizure Ever
This is reportedly the biggest crypto seizure Norwegian police have ever made as First State Attorney Marianne Bender commented: „We work with FBI specialists on tracking cryptocurrency. Such cooperation between countries means that we as a society stand stronger in the fight against digital, profit-motivated crime.“
Axie Infinity Response
Sky Mavis, developer of non-fungible token (NFT)-based online video game responded to this news by thanking all those who assisted them in recovering these funds: “We would like to thank everyone who helped us investigate this case and recover some of our lost funds! We still have much work ahead but are grateful for all your help.“
This news highlights successful international collaboration between law enforcement agencies for recovery of lost funds due to criminal activities such as hacking or money laundering operations facilitated through cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum etc..