Throughout 2021 and 2022 there were a series of bridge hacks worth billions of dollars, as projects that sought interoperability paid a high price for their relatively lacklustre security.
These amounted to some of the largest losses of funds in the history of the cryptocurrency markets, as multi sig wallets were compromised and
The FBI has accused North Korean hacker groups for the Harmony bridge hack
One of the largest bridge hacks during this era was that which was suffered by Harmony, after more than $100m was stolen from their bridge
The FBI were contacted to investigate the case, and have now concluded that those responsible for the hack were the North Korean hacker groups Lazarus and APT38.
The FBI seem to have reached these conclusions after the Twitter account @Zachxbt followed the wallets and posted a summary of their activity on Twitter 12 days ago.
1/2 North Korea’s Lazarus Group had a very busy weekend moving $63.5m (~41000 ETH) from the Harmony bridge hack through Railgun before consolidating funds and depositing on three different exchanges. pic.twitter.com/huDumaJeSh
— ZachXBT (@zachxbt) January 15, 2023
The stolen funds are allegedly being used for North Korean weapons programmes
Once the funds had been stolen from the Harmony bridge, they laid dormant for some time before the hackers tried to anonymise them by using RailGun, a popular alternative to Tornado Cash.
There are concerns that the funds being stolen from the aforementioned hacker groups are being used by North Koreans in order to fund their intercontinental ballistic missile programmes, although the FBI did not provide any evidence to substantiate these claims.
It remains to be seen the extent to which authorities in the Western world will try to clamp down on this sort of activity, but if the Tornado Cash restrictions are anything to go by, it seems likely that they will attempt to legislate further restrictions in an attempt to punish those who make anonymising funds easier with larger data sets.
The Harmony ecosystem has continued to suffer
The Harmony ecosystem has continued to suffer in the aftermath in these hacks, with the value of their native token, ONE, having declined significantly.
There are many reasons for this other than the hack, such as a variety of different controversies surrounding nepotism over meritocracy as a part of their grants programme.
Moreover, the majority of the grants that the Harmony Foundation was issuing were denominated in their native token, and the collapsing price of the token has meant that the team has had to tighten their belt and issue fewer grants moving forward.
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