Wednesday, May 29, 2024

North Korean hackers took over $100 million from Atomic Wallet users

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Atomic Wallet, a non-prudential decentralized wallet, has been hit by a stunning exploit, which has resulted in users reporting losses of their entire cryptocurrency wallets. This unexpected breach sent shock waves through the crypto community, as the basic premise of Atomic Wallet rests on users taking full responsibility for storing their assets securely.

Losses from the atomic wallet theft have risen to more than $100 million, according to an analysis by Elliptic. This alarming number highlights the severity of the attack, which led to an estimated 5,500 crypto wallets being hacked.

Despite the scale of the incident, Atomic Wallet has not yet provided any explanation regarding the root cause of these heavy losses. This has heightened concerns for frustrated users who are eagerly awaiting clarification and reassurance from the company. Meanwhile, at press time, the company’s last Twitter update was on June 7.

Frustrated Atomic Wallet users took to Twitter to express their annoyance at the company’s handling of the issue. Twitter user Ezra Carlson, tagging Atomic Wallet, shared, “Why won’t AM give me a straight answer as to why they didn’t warn me, knowing full well they were getting hacked, and using AM last week wasn’t safe. I made a transfer to my wallet and it got hacked after that “.

Another user, “Real Deal Crypto,” called out Atomic Wallet for its lack of updates regarding the situation, saying, “Your last update was five days ago — dangerous?!?!”

On June 3, Atomic Wallet acknowledged reports of hacked wallets in a tweet but downplayed the impact, stating that “less than 1%” of its user base was affected. However, the staggering total of losses indicates a major breach.

Related: Atomic Wallet Hack Losses Over $35 Million, On-Chain Intelligence Reports

Elliptic linked the theft to the notorious Lazarus Group, which is believed to be responsible for the theft of more than $2 billion in crypto assets through numerous heists. According to Elliptic, this revelation marks the first time a significant crypto theft has been attributed to the Lazarus Group since its $100 million Horizon Bridge exploit in June 2022.

After the theft, Elliptic shared that it was cooperating with international investigators and exchanges and mobilizing its resources to recover the stolen assets. The company’s attempts have allegedly resulted in more than $1 million in stolen funds being frozen to date. However, the blockchain analysis firm noted that “in response to the freezing of these funds, the thief began to change its behavior. In particular, they turned to the Russian exchange Garantex to launder the stolen assets.”

The latest attack joins a string of notable breaches, including a recent exploit of the Jimbus protocol, which resulted in a loss of $7.5 million, and a malicious suggestion that took over management of Tornado Cash in May. According to a Chainalysis report, cryptocurrency hackers are estimated to be fleeing a staggering $3.8 billion in 2022, a large portion of which is attributed to attacks linked to North Korea and a slew of exploits targeting decentralized finance protocols.

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