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Hacker Ronin Transferred US$625 Million to Bitcoin Network: Report

The hackers used Ren Protocol and several centralized cryptocurrency exchanges to transfer funds to the bitcoin blockchain.

Hacker Ronin transferred stolen assets from Ethereum to the Bitcoin network, according to new findings by investigator and blockchain developer ₿liteZero.

Recall that after the Ronin bridge hack in March, attackers transferred $625 million worth of USDC and ETH to an Ethereum-based Tornado Cash crypto mixer, making it difficult for authorities to track the movements of monies. But Tornado is not the end as hackers take the next steps in concealing transactions.

Money tracking

₿liteZero said he tracked down the stolen funds and noticed that the attackers transferred all assets to the Bitcoin protocol using a network bridge and several crypto exchanges.

I’ve been tracking the stolen funds on Ronin Bridge.
I’ve noticed that Ronin hackers have transferred all of their funds to the bitcoin network. Most of the funds have been deposited to mixers(ChipMixer, Blender).

This thread🧵 will illustrate the tracking analysis procedures.👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/yrazcJ22xF

— ₿liteZero (@blitezero) August 20, 2022

Use centralized exchanges

The blockchain investigator found that after the hackers withdrew funds from Tornado Cash, they sent approximately 6,250 ETH ($20.7 million) to centralized exchanges (CEXs) like Binance, Huobi, and FTX before being send money to the North Korean Blender crypto mixer.

In May, the US Treasury Department sanctioned Blender addresses, noting that the crypto mixer assisted hacker Ronin in processing more than $20.5 million in stolen funds.

Interestingly, ₿liteZero claims that most of the Blender addresses sanctioned are used by the Ronin hacker to receive funds after withdrawing from CEX. Tracking down the amount, the investigator noted that the total amount of withdrawals from the exchanges amounted to $20.72 million, consistent with the US Treasury Department’s allegation.

Hackers bridge stolen funds to Bitcoin network

The hackers converted the rest of the assets to yuan using 1inch or Uniswap. renBTC is wrapped in bitcoin on the Ethereum network powered by Ren Protocol. Since Ren allows for the movement of value between blockchains, hackers were able to connect assets from Ethereum to the Bitcoin network.

The hackers then sent most of the funds to crypto mixers like ChipMixer and Blender. They transferred money to ChipMixer before withdrawing some money to Blender.

At the end of the Twitter thread, ₿liteZero said they are currently working on analyzing the hackers, although they believe it will be more complicated.

I’m working on analyzing Ronin hackers, and the next work will be more complex.

‘Where’s the money?’
It is a mystery to be investigated, and I look forward to more progress being made.
Thanks for taking the time to read my thread, good luck!

— ₿liteZero (@blitezero) August 20, 2022

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