Feds Seize ‘Sinbad’ Crypto Mixer Used by North Korea’s Lazarus

Feds Seize 'Sinbad' Crypto Mixer Used by North Korea's Lazarus

November 30, 2023 at 12:42PM

The US government has seized Sinbad.io, a crypto mixer used by North Korea’s Lazarus Group to launder money from cyber heists. The sanction requires US persons to block and report any Sinbad property and prohibits dealings with the service. Lazarus has stolen over $2 billion in digital assets, continuing its operations despite sanctions.

Meeting Takeaways:

1. Sinbad.io Seized: The US government has seized Sinbad.io, a virtual currency mixer used by North Korea’s Lazarus Group for laundering money from their cybercriminal activities.

2. OFAC Sanctions: The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has imposed sanctions on Sinbad.io, requiring all its properties within the US or those controlled by US persons to be blocked and reported to OFAC. Any US involvement with Sinbad is prohibited.

3. Actions Against Cybercriminals: Transactions with Sinbad could lead to additional sanctions for those participating. Such crackdowns are part of a broader campaign against services aiding in the obfuscation of illegal transactions.

4. Lazarus Group Operations: Lazarus has stolen over $2 billion through various cryptocurrency heists. The group continues to engage in sophisticated cyberattacks, funding North Korean government activities.

5. Crypto Mixer Usage: Lazarus, along with other criminal groups, used Sinbad to launder large sums of money from high-profile crypto heists, such as those involving Atomic Wallet, Axie Infinity, and Horizon Bridge.

6. International Efforts: There has been a series of international law enforcement actions against crypto mixers like ChipMixer, Blender.io, and Tornado Cash.

7. Sanction of Individuals: OFAC in April also sanctioned two individuals who helped convert stolen cryptocurrency to fiat currency for actors associated with the Lazarus Group.

8. Strong Stance on Illicit Activities: Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo emphasizes the US’s determination to act against illicit actors that support criminal endeavors like those of Lazarus Group.

9. Lazarus Group’s Resilience: Despite sanctions and global scrutiny, Lazarus continues its operations, adapting tactics like creating fake job postings to target crypto professionals and collaborating with other threat actors to make tracking more difficult.

10. Implications for Security: The collective action of North Korean threat actors poses a significant challenge, requiring strategic defense and an effective response from potential cyberattack targets.

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