Atomic Wallet Hackers Have Turned Towards OFAC-Sanctioned Garantex

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Atomic Wallet

It has been reported that the illicit funds which were gained from the Atomic Wallet hack of $35 million are on the move again. Garantex, a sanctioned crypto exchange based in Russia, turned out to be the latest exchange which had come in contact with the hacked crypto tokens. On 13th June, Elliptic, a blockchain security and compliance firm, updated the entire situation regarding the stolen funds of the Wallet.

It was alleged that the Lazarus Group, a hacking collective from North Korea, had been using Garantex to launder this loot. In a separate tweet, the firm also claimed that there was a significant and successful cross community effort between several exchange partners and Elliptic to freeze the crypto that was stolen. However, it was then discovered that Lazarus had found a different way of trading its assets for Bitcoin.

Atomic Wallet Hack Tokens Found On Sanctioned Russian Exchanges

Interestingly, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control had sanctioned Garantex, and the entirety of the Russian Hydra dark web marketplace in April 2022. Garantex, the firm, was founded in late 2019 and was originally registered in Estonia before it moved its operations to Moscow, something the Treasury Department went on to note at that time. Earlier in June, it was reported that the Atomic Wallet hacks were being channeled through the Sinbad.io mixer, which is a service that is frequently used by the Lazarus Group. 

On 3rd June, quite a large number of Atomic Wallet user accounts were seemingly compromised, which resulted in a loss of around $35 million in digital assets. Just a week after that, Atomic stated that it had hired Chainalysis, the blockchain security and analyst company, to investigate the incident.