Binance Assists US Authorities in Freezing $4.4 Million Linked to North Korea

Binance, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, has partnered with US law enforcement agencies to seize $4.4 million worth of crypto assets connected to cybercrime organizations operating in North Korea. The joint efforts aimed to disrupt the illicit revenue-generating activities of now-sanctioned entities. Binance’s investigations team actively cooperated with US authorities in compliance with lawfully served warrants.

Binance revealed through a series of tweets on May 25 that it worked closely with US law enforcement to disrupt the activities of four entities based in North Korea, which were previously sanctioned by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). These entities included the Chinyong Information Technology Cooperation Company, Pyongyang University of Automation, the 110th Research Center, and the Technical Reconnaissance Bureau. Binance’s collaboration with US authorities aimed to curb the illicit revenue streams associated with these organizations’ involvement in malicious cyber activities supporting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Government.

The Chinyong Information Technology Cooperation Company, known for employing skilled IT workers worldwide, has been implicated in generating revenue to support unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs. These workers allegedly use fake or stolen identities to secure overseas IT positions, including roles in the technology and cryptocurrency sectors. The payments received for their work are then laundered back to North Korea through crypto exchanges. Kim Sang Man, an individual targeted by the sanctions, is suspected of being involved in salary payments to family members of Chinyong’s overseas workers and selling IT equipment to DPRK-affiliated teams in China and Russia. The Technical Reconnaissance Bureau, another sanctioned entity, plays a significant role in the DPRK’s offensive cyber tactics and oversees departments associated with the notorious Lazarus Group.

Binance’s involvement in combating cybercrime extends beyond this recent operation. In April, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced the successful recovery of $5.8 million from the Lazarus Group after identifying suspicious transactions involving ill-gotten funds. The Lazarus Group has gained notoriety for its involvement in cyberattacks on cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. One of its high-profile attacks was the $620 million hack on the Ronin Bridge of Axie Infinity in March 2022. Binance’s proactive efforts to identify and prevent illicit activities demonstrate its commitment to maintaining the integrity of the cryptocurrency ecosystem and cooperating with law enforcement agencies to combat cyber threats.:

Binance’s collaboration with US law enforcement agencies in freezing $4.4 million tied to cybercrime organizations operating in North Korea showcases the exchange’s dedication to combating illicit activities within the cryptocurrency space. By actively working to disrupt revenue-generating operations, Binance contributes to the global fight against cybercrime and reinforces the importance of close cooperation between exchanges and authorities.

Disclaimer: This article was created for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. An asset’s past performance does not predict its future returns. Before making an investment, please conduct your own research, as digital assets like cryptocurrencies are highly risky and volatile financial instruments. This is a news article only. 

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