Lazarus Group getting blamed for Axie hack saves Sky Mavis

Near the end of March, we discussed the theft of over $600 million worth of NFT in one of the most popular NFT games, Axie Infinity. Since then, an investigation has been going on full-time, and recently, the FBI decided to share some of their thoughts with the news.

Fingers were pointed on a big “boogeyman”, and Sky Mavis the target of this attack is suddenly back in our good graces.

Axie Hack Sky Mavis

FBI sets their sights on Lazarus Group

During a recent statement, the FBI said that they were able to confirm that the Lazarus Group and APT38 (associated with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) are responsible for the theft of $620 million in Ethereum, which was reported on March 29th. Making this kind of statement is quite a big deal, especially when the accusation falls on “someones” close to Kim Jon Un.

Every time someone is targeted by the Lazarus Group, we tend to forgive the “security” breach due to how prolific and successful the organization is.

Who are the Lazarus Group?

The cybercrime group made up of unknown members is supposedly run directly by the North Korean state. They have been around since 2009, yet interestingly not much is known about this organization. They are known to be responsible for some of the biggest cyberattacks in recent years, and the $620 million “heist” from Axie Infinity might not be their biggest achievement because there might have been scenarios that the public does not even know about.

Remember, Lazarus was likely behind the WannaCry ransomware and three separate bank heists.

Could have Sky Mavis done anything about the attack?

If any other group were responsible for the attack, people would probably blame the creators of Axie Infinity, Sky Mavis, for their incompetence to create an insecure system. However, since the Lazarus Group is the one that managed to create the bridge to their game and steal the valuable NFTs, they honestly could not do much about them. Lazarus Group is quite a capable organization, and all the bad press that Sky Mavis has been getting is null and void given this latest statement from the FBI.

Honestly, the bad press Axie and Sky Mavis have been getting has been a bit excessive as of late. At least knowing that the hack was executed by a prolific bad actor points towards a malevolent intent and competent ability to execute a hack. All the people that assumed some random person logged in using “password” as password and just walked away with the goods now realize hacking validator nodes is no small feat.