Hacker of Axie Infinity is using a ‘mixer’ to disperse $ 600 million

The hacker’s use of the Tornado Cash “mixer” to remove traces shows that this person has no intention of returning the money.

On April 5, about a week after the Ronin Bridge attack, the hacker’s digital currency account made an order to transfer 3,526 ETH (about 12.4 million USD ) to two other wallets. From these sub-wallets, the subject splits hundreds of deposit transactions, each about 100 ETH, to the anonymous remittance protocol Tornado Cash in order to remove traces on the blockchain.

Earlier in January, hackers stole $15 million from the exchange and also used Tornado Cash as a tool to launder money.

Tornado Cash is a protocol for making private money transfers on the Ethereum network. This tool creates transaction anonymity by removing the link on the blockchain between the sender and receiver wallet addresses. The Tornado Cash smart contract allows one account to withdraw money from another wallet and deposit it with a private key.

To deposit, the user generates a secret key and deposits its hash and the deposit amount into the Tornado smart contract. When withdrawing funds, the customer provides proof of possession of the private key corresponding to the list of anonymous deposits, belonging to the smart contract. By this method, it is not possible for outsiders to determine which withdrawal is equivalent to which deposit order.

However, the use of “mixers” can still reveal traces if the transfer is not done carefully. In February, the US police found the culprit of the Bitfinex exchange hack from 2016 when the subject tried to “launder” the stolen Bitcoin. According to FBI Deputy Director Paul M. Abbate, criminals always leave a digital footprint, and the FBI has the tools to track that down wherever they lead.

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Talking about this issue, Mr. Nguyen Viet Dinh, CTO of Symper said that whether money laundering is successful or not depends much on the ingenuity of the hacker. “For example, this person uses Tornado Cash but the money is withdrawn then all in one wallet. 600 million USD is huge, which will certainly raise questions. In addition, the time of money laundering is also very important,” Dinh shared.

Mr. Nguyen Viet Dinh said that the hacker’s use of Tornado Cash is a big sign that the object does not intend to return the property like the Poly Network case or wants to change the ransom.

In the $600 million hacks from Ronin Network, the hacker performed many unusual actions. This person took an amount of ETH from Binance as a withdrawal fee, divided about 25 million USD on centralized exchanges such as, FTX, and Huobi. Experts believe that this is done by hackers to distract and make it difficult for the investigation team.

Days after the attack, the Ronin Bridge was still not restored. The Sky Mavis side promises to recover the stolen money and return it to the user. However, the exact time has not been announced.

Shivam Bangwal

Shivam Bangwal is an India-based Entrepreneur. He is the Founder of Successful Startups like Youthistaan, People News Chronicle, Hitchhike TV & Branding Panther. Shivam has done his Master's in Computer Applications.

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