Atomic Wallet users lost $100 million in crypto breach.

Digital asset tracking firm, Elliptic, has revealed that users of Atomic Wallet have lost more than $100 million due to security breaches. It seems that over 5,500 wallets linked to this crypto storage platform have been compromised. Despite the magnitude of the breach, Atomic Wallet has not yet provided an explanation for the losses.

The company acknowledged the reports of compromised wallets via a tweet on June 3rd, and confirmed that fewer than 1% of its users were affected. This equates to around 5,000 users, given the company’s claim to have around five million clients. However, in the volatile realm of cryptocurrency, even such a small percentage can translate into significant monetary losses.

Lazarus Connection: North Korea Rears Its Head Once More

Elliptic, known for its advanced tracking and security analysis in the crypto space, has indicated that the Lazarus Group is behind this breach. The Lazarus Group, allegedly connected to North Korea, has an infamous reputation in the crypto community, having stolen over $2 billion in digital assets across multiple attacks. If the attribution stands, this will be the first major crypto theft linked to the group since the $100 million Horizon Bridge exploit in June 2022.

Since then, Elliptic has been working relentlessly to recover the stolen assets. Collaborating with numerous investigators and exchanges worldwide, the company has managed to trace and freeze more than $1 million in stolen assets.

In response to these events, renowned cybersecurity and crypto expert, Dr. Sarah Brown, commented, “This recent breach is a stark reminder of the ongoing risks in the cryptocurrency market. It also illustrates the essential need for advanced security protocols and constant vigilance on the part of all stakeholders. The crypto industry, while offering immense possibilities, is still a field where security breaches can lead to significant financial losses.”

She further emphasized, “The swift response and efforts of digital forensics companies like Elliptic, in tracking and freezing stolen assets, show that we are becoming more adept at navigating these challenges. Nonetheless, individual users need to stay informed and cautious, especially in choosing their storage platforms and exchanges.”

Atomic Wallet Goes Dark As Clients Wait And Hope

The affected users have taken to social media to express their frustration with the theft and Atomic Wallet’s apparent lack of action and communication in the aftermath of the breach.

The measures taken following the Horizon heist to freeze the stolen funds last year seem to have triggered a shift in the perpetrator’s tactics. North Korea has now turned to the Russian-based exchange, Garantex, to launder the illicitly gained assets. Notably, Garantex was sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury in April 2022 for its role in facilitating the laundering of funds derived from ransomware and darknet markets. Despite the sanctions, the exchange continues to function. Thanks to Elliptic’s exhaustive research and unique intelligence on crypto wallets used by Garantex, customers can avoid transacting with this sanctioned entity.

The cybersecurity firm’s response to this incident serves as a strong testament to the digital forensics capabilities available in the crypto space, helping to maintain trust in an industry that’s still gaining its footing in the mainstream market.

Blockchain.com has reached out to Atomic Wallet and Elliptic for comment.

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