ronin breach

Ronin Hack Update: Binance Recovered $5.8M Stolen Funds

Sky Mavis says every cent recovered is a win for the Axie community

We reported that last March 23, Axie Infinity’s Ronin network was hacked for a total of $622 million dollars. In developing news, Binance has successfully recovered $5.8 million of those stolen funds and is being returned to the Axie team. 

Axie Infinity is a blockchain-enabled NFT game that was initially launched in 2018 and gained popularity last year because its play-to-earn model allowed players an alternate source of income during the pandemic period. Axie Infinity recorded around $3.5 billion in NFT transactions accounting for about 19% of all NFT transactions in 2021. 

On March 29, the Axie Infinity team disclosed that their Ronin network had been hacked on March 23 and $622 million worth of cryptocurrency was transferred out of the network making it one of the largest DeFi hacks of all time. They explained hackers had exploited a vulnerability in the Ronin bridge connecting the Ronin Network with the Ethereum network. 

Since then, new security measures have been placed to plug up any holes in the network. This includes adding additional validators for transactions including one run by Animoca Brands themselves. Their goal is to onboard 21 independent validators to avoid hacks like this again.

Sky Mavis also ran a round of funding investment that was led by Binance which was backed by Animoca Brands and was able to collect around $150 million to recover the cost of the lost funds. The team has stated they are committed to returning the missing funds to those affected by the hack.

On April 14, the FBI discovered that the hack was started by the Lazarus group, a hacking group based in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea). The address where the funds are being stored was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department. According to Sky Mavis and the Axie team, they are continuing to monitor the situation and are working with law enforcement in this ongoing investigation. 

Yesterday, Binance announced on Twitter. that the DRPK Lazarus group started to move the stolen Axie Infinity funds that was being monitored since the theft. The stolen funds were being transferred across multiple accounts and part of the funds found its way over to Binance which the company recovered. A total of $5.8 million was recovered and will be handed over to the Sky Mavis team.

The Axie Infinity team has lauded the efforts of Binance and has stated that “every cent recovered is a win for the @AxieInfinity community.” They have promised the funds to return to the Ronin bridge as soon as they are able to.