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US Treasury sanctions Sinbad cryptocurrency mixer used by North Korean hackers

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US Treasury sanctions Sinbad cryptocurrency mixer used by North Korean hackers

The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday sanctioned a popular cryptocurrency mixer used to launder funds stolen by hackers connected to the North Korean government.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced new sanctions on Sinbad.io, which officials said has been used by North Korea’s Lazarus Group to process millions of dollars’ worth of virtual currency stolen during attacks over the last two years including incidents involving Horizon Bridge and Axie Infinity.

The cryptocurrency mixer is also used by cybercriminals to make it difficult for investigators to track transactions related to sanctions evasion, drug trafficking, the purchase of child sexual abuse materials, and additional illicit sales on darknet marketplaces.

“Mixing services that enable criminal actors, such as the Lazarus Group, to launder stolen assets will face serious consequences,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo.

The platform’s website was also seized and replaced with a banner from several law enforcement agencies including the FBI, The Department of Justice, Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation and other international agencies.

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U.S. officials said Sinbad is the “preferred mixing service” for the Lazarus Group — which has been behind several of the largest crypto hacks in recent years. The Sinbad platform obfuscates the origin, destination and parties involved in illicit transactions, with experts noting that it is likely a successor to Blender.io — another mixer sanctioned by OFAC last year.

The Treasury Department and blockchain research firm Elliptic said there are infrastructure ties between Blender.io and Sinbad, including shared cryptocurrency wallets and more.

According to the Treasury Department, North Korean hackers used it to launder a chunk of the $100 million stolen on June 3 from customers of Atomic Wallet, as well as significant portions of the more than $620 million stolen from Axie Infinity and the $100 million taken from Horizon Bridge — two of the largest crypto thefts on record.

Lazarus Group has been operating for more than 10 years, and according to U.S. officials has stolen over $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency to help fund the North Korean government’s activities — including its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs. The group itself was sanctioned by OFAC in 2019.

The OFAC sanctions announced on Wednesday mean U.S. citizens are banned from dealing with Sinbad in any way. Anyone caught doing business with the platform may be exposed to sanctions as well, they added.

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The Treasury Department has sought to limit the ability of state-backed actors and cybercriminals to use cryptocurrency mixing services through sanctions in the last two years. U.S. law enforcement agencies have shut down or sanctioned several platforms, including Blender.io, Tornado Cash, and others.

Blockchain research firm Elliptic noted that they have found thousands of additional addresses connected to this mixer.

“As well as the hacks mentioned by the US Treasury in the press release, Sinbad has also been used to launder some of the proceeds of other major hacks including thefts from Stake.com (September 2023, $41 million), CoinEx (September 2023, $70 million), FTX ($477 million, November 2022), BadgerDAO (December 2021, $120 million) and more,” they said.

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After Bitcoin, Shiba Inu Becomes 3rd Most Traded Cryptocurrency

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After Bitcoin, Shiba Inu Becomes 3rd Most Traded Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin climbed above the $63,500 mark on Monday and is attracting heavy bullish sentiments in the indices. The overall cryptocurrency market is brimming with an influx of new funds where investors are reaping handsome profits. Millions worth of Bitcoin profits also entered Shiba Inu making the token rally nearly 180% in 30 days.

Also Read: Shiba Inu (SHIB) Forecasted To Surge 300%: Here’s When

Shiba Inu holders almost doubled their investments this year as SHIB steadily climbed up the charts. Read here to know a realistic price prediction on when SHIB could climb above the $0.01 mark.

After Bitcoin & Ethereum, Shiba Inu Is Now The 3rd Most Traded Cryptocurrency

bitcoin btc shiba inu shib
Source: Watcher Guru

Shiba Inu becomes the third most traded cryptocurrency in the world after Bitcoin and Ethereum, data from Coingecko shows. SHIB’s market cap is now close to reaching $14 billion with a 24-hour trading volume coming close to $4 billion. On the other hand, Bitcoin’s trading volume touched a monthly high of $36.3 billion.

Also Read: Shiba Inu Can Reach 10 Cents ($0.10) If This Plays Out

The numbers for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Shiba Inu are increasing rapidly and could touch new highs in March. Experts predict that the cryptocurrency market could surge until the Bitcoin halving event which is scheduled for April 2024. Bitcoin’s supply will be cut in half making BTC scarcely available which could eventually push its price much higher.

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If Bitcoin sustainably scaled up the charts, Ethereum, Shiba Inu, and the broader cryptocurrency market will follow suit. Therefore, the cryptocurrency market is expected to surge in the next 60 days delivering stellar returns to investors. However, JP Morgan has predicted that Bitcoin could fall to $42,000 after the halving leading the cryptocurrency market to shed all its gains.

Also Read: When Will Shiba Inu Reach $1?

At press time, Shiba Inu was trading at $0.00002541 and is up nearly 20% in the 24-hours day trade. Moreover, SHIB is down close to 71% from its all-time high of $0.00008616, which it reached in October 2021.

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EOS Climbs 10% As Investors Gain Confidence By Investing.com

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EOS Climbs 10% As Investors Gain Confidence By Investing.com

EOS Climbs 10% As Investors Gain Confidence

Investing.com – EOS was trading at $1.1397 by 03:01 (08:01 GMT) on the Investing.com Index on Monday, up 10.01% on the day. It was the largest one-day percentage gain since March 2.

The move upwards pushed EOS’s market cap up to $1.2671B, or 0.05% of the total cryptocurrency market cap. At its highest, EOS’s market cap was $17.5290B.

EOS had traded in a range of $1.0543 to $1.1397 in the previous twenty-four hours.

Over the past seven days, EOS has seen a rise in value, as it gained 43.37%. The volume of EOS traded in the twenty-four hours to time of writing was $253.6833M or 0.24% of the total volume of all cryptocurrencies. It has traded in a range of $0.7869 to $1.1397 in the past 7 days.

At its current price, EOS is still down 95.04% from its all-time high of $22.98 set on April 29, 2018.

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Elsewhere in cryptocurrency trading

Bitcoin was last at $64,043.5 on the Investing.com Index, up 3.90% on the day.

Ethereum was trading at $3,480.52 on the Investing.com Index, a gain of 2.56%.

Bitcoin’s market cap was last at $1,258.7369B or 52.42% of the total cryptocurrency market cap, while Ethereum’s market cap totaled $418.1782B or 17.41% of the total cryptocurrency market value.

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Crypto

Bitcoin Soars to $64K, Nigeria Fines Binance $10B, and Elon Musk Sues OpenAI CEO

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Bitcoin Soars to $64K, Nigeria Fines Binance $10B, and Elon Musk Sues OpenAI CEO

Last week’s financial and tech sectors witnessed significant events that could potentially reshape the landscape of cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence. Bitcoin’s price surge retesting the $64,000 mark, Nigeria’s hefty fine on Binance for currency manipulation, and Elon Musk’s legal battle against OpenAI’s Sam Altman dominated headlines, signaling a tumultuous yet fascinating period in both markets.

Spot BTC ETFs See Record Volumes Amid $64k Retest

As Bitcoin approached the $64,000 threshold, the cryptocurrency market saw an unprecedented level of activity. Spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) recorded all-time high volumes, reflecting a growing investor interest in digital currencies. This surge in Bitcoin’s price and the ETFs’ performance is indicative of the cryptocurrency’s enduring appeal and its potential for significant returns on investment. For more insight, readers can explore a detailed analysis here.

Coinbase Crashes; MicroStrategy Adds to Its Stash

Amid the Bitcoin frenzy, Coinbase experienced outages due to the overwhelming trading volume, leaving many investors in limbo. Meanwhile, MicroStrategy seized the opportunity to add more Bitcoin to its already substantial holdings, further cementing its status as one of the leading corporate investors in cryptocurrencies. This strategic move by MicroStrategy highlights the growing confidence among institutional investors in Bitcoin’s long-term value.

Nigeria Imposes $10 Billion Fine on Binance

The Nigerian government’s decision to fine Binance $10 billion over allegations of currency manipulation has sent shockwaves through the cryptocurrency world. Accusing the global crypto exchange of indirectly causing significant losses to the nation’s economy, Nigeria is demanding compensation for the perceived damages. This move underscores the increasing scrutiny and regulatory challenges facing cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide. In-depth coverage on the issue can be found here.

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Meme Coin Rally and Legal Battles

While the cryptocurrency market buzzed with activity, meme coins like SHIB, PEPE, WIF, DOGE, and FLOKI also recorded gains, riding on the wave of investor enthusiasm. On another front, Elon Musk’s lawsuit against OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has captured the public’s attention, highlighting the growing tensions and competitive dynamics within the tech industry, especially in the realm of artificial intelligence.

These developments provide a fascinating glimpse into the evolving interplay between technology, finance, and regulation. As the cryptocurrency market continues to mature, and tech giants navigate legal and ethical complexities, the outcomes of these events could have far-reaching implications for investors, companies, and governments alike. The ongoing saga between Nigeria and Binance, the strategic maneuvers of corporations like MicroStrategy, and the legal tussles in the tech world underscore the unpredictable yet undeniably exciting nature of today’s digital age.

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