North Korean hacking group Lazarus withdrew over $1.28 million worth of Bitcoin this week from an unnamed cryptocurrency mixer in its first large transfer in over a month.
According to blockchain intelligence firm Arkham, the 27.371 BTC move came after the asset bounced off a 24-hour low near $43,000. The transfer was split into two mixer withdrawals before Lazarus forwarded $150,000 to a previously utilized holding address.
- Lazarus pulled $1.28 million in Bitcoin from a mixing service, per Arkham
- It is the first major haul observed in over a month of relative quiet.
- Sent $150K to prior collective wallet amid rebound past $47K
- The group is allegedly behind a third of 2023’s $700 million crypto hack tally
Motive behind Bitcoin movement remains unclear
The timing coinciding with recent market swings could signal preparations for new theft campaigns seeking to capitalize on volatility and heightened flows. Lazarus is at the forefront of North Korea’s cyber warfare team, focusing on activities like scamming, blackmail, and illegal money transfers involving cryptocurrencies.
However, the transfer may also simply reflect the periodic consolidation of existing stolen Bitcoin stockpiles. The group still held over $82 million collectively across monitored wallets in Arkham’s tracking dashboard.
With Bitcoin bouncing back over $47,000 and daily trading reaching a whopping $41 billion or more, there’s more room for groups like Lazarus to go after the popular cryptocurrency.
The Lazarus Group Bitcoin movement also comes at a time when the SEC is inching towards the approval of the much-awaited Bitcoin ETF. While Bloomberg analysts lay out a 95% chance of approval, the recent developments have boosted the price of BTC. The surge has also pushed the global crypto market cap up by 4.45%.