Sky Mavis office in 2019


Norwegian Authorities Recover $5.9 Million of Crypto Stolen From Axie Infinity's Ronin Bridge

Indiradevi Kollipara
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Norwegian authorities recovered $5.9 million of cryptocurrency stolen from Axie Infinity's Ronin Bridge, which was hacked by North Korean hacking group Lazarus.
The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim) used international cooperation to track the money on the blockchain and prevent it from being laundered into physical assets.

Norway's National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim) has made its largest crypto-seizure to date, recovering almost $5.9 million in stolen cryptocurrency from Axie Infinity's Ronin Bridge. The hack, which compromised five validators, was conducted by North Korean hacking group Lazarus which had stolen $620 Million USD from the popular Blockchain Gaming network in March 2022, according to US authorities. 

Okokrim retrieves 1% of Axie Infinity's stolen cryptocurrency

“Økokrim is good at following the money. This case shows that we also have a great capacity to follow the money on the blockchain, even if the criminals use sophisticated methods”, said First Public Prosecutor Marianne Bender in a statement announcing the seizure.

Okokrim also revealed that this was possible due to international cooperation with partners including the FBI, and that the collective has managed to follow much of the money and prevent it from being laundered into physical assets. The authorities are working to ensure the money is returned to the victims.

The attack on the Ronin Bridge was considered the largest in crypto history, sending shockwaves through the community and causing widespread concern. 

In July 2022, it was revealed that hackers posing as job recruiters on LinkedIn targeted multiple employees at Sky Mavis, the parent company of Axie Infinity. One senior engineer fell victim to the scam and was presented with a fake compensation package delivered via a PDF file containing spyware that infiltrated the Ronin servers. The hackers gained access to four out of nine Ronin validator nodes and used the Axie DAO to obtain full control of Ronin, draining Sky Mavis' treasury of about $625 million in Ethereum and USDC cryptocurrency.

In September 2022, the U.S. government recovered $30 Million USD worth of stolen cryptocurrency from these hackers. Axie Infinity's publishers have explained that the seized funds will be gradually transferred into the game's treasury and eventually returned to the players' community, but cautioned that this process could take several years.

Previously, it was reported that if in case the stolen amount is not retrieved in the next two years then DAO token holders were responsible to arrive at a decision.

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Indira is a freelance writer for AFK Gaming covering developments in the Web3 Gaming space. Being an avid tech enthusiast, she follows the latest developments in the emerging tech space including blockchain and the internet of things. She also calls herself the 'Nintendo Fanatic' and is one of the ardent fans of the 'Legend of Zelda' Series.

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