Onchain Insights
Sep 26, 2023

On-Chain Insights #10: Crypto Holdings of Lazarus Group

On-Chain Insights #10: Crypto Holdings of Lazarus Group

We are thrilled to release our latest Dashboard, the Crypto Holdings of Lazarus Group. This dashboard will help you track cryptocurrency addresses identified by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) belonging to the cybercrime North Korean unit Lazarus Group.


Link to all of our On-Chain Dashboards: https://dune.com/21co


  • Over $900 million stolen: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) TraderTraitor-affiliated actors (also known as Lazarus Group and APT38) have stolen at least $900 million in assets from various crypto-related cyber attacks, with more than $200 million occurring in 2023 alone.
  • Recent hacks: The FBI identified Lazarus Group as responsible for stealing $41 million from betting platform Stake.com on September 4, 2023. In July, the North Korean group hacked Alphapo and Coinspaid for $37 and $60 million, respectively. 
  • Current balance: The estimated crypto balance of the wallets linked to Lazarus Group by the FBI and OFAC is 1.60k BTC, 10.81k ETH, and 64.49k BNB, worth about $75 million as of September 14, 2023.
  • OFAC sanctioned list: Lazarus Group was one of the ten crypto-linked entities sanctioned by OFAC in the U.S. in 2022 for their hacking activities on behalf of the North Korean government. 


As part of our forensic series, we have published dashboards tracking the BTC holdings of the U.S. government and Mt. Gox’s trustee publicly known addresses. We are now monitoring the wallets linked to the cybercrime unit Lazarus Group (also known as APT38), which has conducted multiple hacks on behalf of the North Korean government. This dashboard tracks 295 wallets identified by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as belonging to Lazarus Group in real-time. For context, these are the largest hacks conducted by Lazarus Group, as confirmed by the FBI:

  1. March 29, 2022: ~$620 million theft from Sky Mavis’ Ronin Bridge.
  2. June 22, 2022: ~$100 million Harmony’s Horizon Bridge hack.
  3. June 2023: ~$100 million theft from Atomic Wallet. 
  4. July 22, 2023: ~$60 million theft from Alphapo. 
  5. July 22, 2023: ~$37 million theft from CoinsPaid.
  6. September 4, 2023: ~$41 million theft from Stake.com.

We should note that this is a lower-bound estimation of Lazarus Group’s crypto holdings based on publicly available information. If you have identified or are aware of any other hacks that have been disclosed, please contact us so we can track the assets in this dashboard.

Our dashboard makes it easy to stay on top of the latest trends and developments — and possibly ahead of the curve.

Key Takeaways

  1. Lazarus Group recorded almost $40 million in inflows on September 4, 2023 – the day of the Stake.com hack.

The FBI attributed the ~$41 million hack from Stake.com, an online casino and betting platform, to Lazarus Group, an entity comprised of DPRK cyber actors. The FBI investigation revealed that the funds were moved across various wallets in the Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), and Polygon networks. Based on the data provided in the statement, our dashboard shows ~$39.41 million in inflows on the day of the hack, divided between BNB ($17.76 million), ETH ($15.71 million), and MATIC ($5.94 million)

 Figure 1: Lazarus Group asset net flow

Source: 21co / Dune Analytics

  1. The North Korean cyber unit has recorded ~$12.96 million in net outflows since the Stake.com hack, spread over 80 transactions.

Our data shows that Lazarus Group has recorded ~$12.96 million in net outflows since the hack as of September 14. MATIC has experienced the most significant net outflows (~$5.93 million), followed by BNB (~$4.90 million) and BTC (~$1.69 million), while the stolen ETH remains dormant. In this regard, the transaction flows suggest that Lazarus Group converted MATIC balances into BTC first, most likely in an attempt to cash out.

This is consistent with previous operations from the group, where they quickly convert stolen crypto assets into BTC and ETH. Afterward, the North Korean hackers tend to send significant sums to mixers to launder money and obfuscate the origination. In fact, OFAC infamously sanctioned the popular Ethereum mixer Tornado Cash in August 2022, adding open-source software to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list for the first time. Among the reasons for the sanction, OFAC cited the mixer’s role in assisting Lazarus Group to launder over $455 million worth of cryptoassets from the Ronin and Harmony Bridge. 

Figure 2: Lazarus Group transaction history

Source: 21co / Dune Analytics

  1. The current estimated crypto balance of the Lazarus Group is at least $74 million as of September 14, 2023. 

We estimate that the Lazarus Group holds almost $75 million in cryptoassets across 295 wallets identified by the FBI, some of which have also been sanctioned by OFAC. The below chart shows that the crypto holdings of the Lazarus Group were worth a little over $100 million in June last year after Harmony’s Horizon Bridge hack, in which the attacker compromised the majority of private cryptographic keys to a multisig securing the bridge.

Figure 3: Lazarus Group cumulative balance

Source: 21co / Dune Analytics

  1. The three largest crypto holdings of Lazarus Group are BTC (~57%), ETH (~24%), and BNB (~18%), making up ~99% of the total balance.

The Lazarus Group holds 1.60k BTC, its largest constituent worth over $42 million. On August 22, 2023, the FBI warned that approximately 1,580 BTC linked to the cybercrime unit were on the move and that "the DPRK may attempt to cash out the bitcoin." The Lazarus Group also holds 10.81k ETH and 64.49k BNB worth ~$17.69 million and ~$13.72 million, respectively. Unsurprisingly, they convert most of their balances to BTC and ETH, the largest cryptoassets by market cap and the most liquid. Crucially, BTC and ETH are censorship-resistant assets and are usually sent to mixers as part of the North Korean group's money laundering process. 

Figure 4: Lazarus Group balance breakdown by asset and network

Source: 21co / Dune Analytics

Closing Thoughts

Despite misconceptions and the noise malicious actors like Lazarus Group generate, the share of crypto transaction volume linked to illicit activity was only 0.24% in 2022, as per Chainalysis' Crypto Crime Report. In this regard, 43% of 2022's illicit volume came from activity associated with sanctioned entities like Lazarus Group in a year when OFAC sanctioned ten entities and over 300 wallet addresses. A key takeaway from such law enforcement actions is that the transparency of the blockchain allows every transaction to be traced to a degree that isn't possible in traditional finance. We will continue providing real-time tools in 21.co's Forensic Series for the benefit of the broader crypto community.


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