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Ronin Exploit: $5.7M Recovered by Norway


$5.7 million in money linked to the $600 million Ronin exploit has been frozen and refunded by the Norwegian authorities.

Designed by Sky Mavis, Ronin is an Ethereum sidechain meant to complement the play-to-win web3 game Axie Infinity.

Sky Mavis posted on X Friday, “The Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim) has successfully frozen and returned 5.7 MUSD in stolen assets from the Ronin bridge incident.”

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As stated by the Axie Infinity web3 game developer, the process of getting the assets back requires the intervention of police, lawyers, accountants, and blockchain tracing firms such as Chainalysis. It was confirmed that 15% of the funds will go towards expenses, while the rest will go to the Axie Infinity treasury.

“We kindly want to publicly thank everyone who helped with the recovery efforts, especially Økokrim and the FBI in the US, for their relentless search and recovery of these assets for the Axie and Ronin communities,” Sky Mavis said.

The game developer claimed that the law enforcement authorities have seized about $40 million in related assets so far; however, the process of reclaiming these would take some time, and the company could not give an exact timeline on when it would be possible.

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According to the data dashboard of The Block, the Ronin attack in March 2022 remains the largest DeFi hack to date, with a loss of approximately $600 million in crypto assets. Besides other attacks, such as the $100 million Harmony bridge hack in January 2023, the attack has been attributed to the North Korean cybercrime team, Lazarus Group.

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The hack stole 173,600 ETH (about $590 million at the time) and USDC stablecoins worth $25.5 million.

In particular, the attackers were able to compromise five out of nine genuine validator private keys on the Ronin network during the attack. After that, the attacker was able to authorize and execute fake transactions to steal the funds from the Ronin bridge, a bridge that transfers assets from the Ronin sidechain to the Ethereum mainnet.

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