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Norway Government Returns $5.7 Million Stolen Funds Related to Ronin Hack

June 7, 2024

The government of Norway has frozen and returned funds associated with the Ronin Bridge hack. The Ethereum sidechain suffered an attack in March 2022, where more than $600 million worth funds in Ethereum [ETH] and USDC were drained. A fraction of it has now been returned. Chalking out the details via a post on X [formerly Twitter], Sky Mavis - the team that developed Ronin - revealed,

“The Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim) has successfully frozen and returned 5.7 M USD in stolen assets from the Ronin bridge incident.”

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The Sky Mavis team revealed that recovering the aforementioned assets would require “close coordination and dedicated effort” among law enforcement agencies, lawyers, accountants, and blockchain forensic teams.

Around 15% of recovered proceeds will be used to cover the expenses incurred by those involved in the recovery process. The remaining 85% will be deposited into the Axie Infinity treasury.

The Ronin exploit remains to be the largest attack in DeFi history. More than half of the private keys on the Ronin network were compromised during the exploit, giving the hacker the ability to sanction and execute transactions. That eventually led to funds being drained from the bridge.

Investigations revealed that North Korea’s Lazarus Group was behind the attack. Several government agencies around the world - including Japan’s National Police Agency [NPA] and Financial Services Agency [FSA] - have time and again warned investors against this group. Apart from Ronin, they have been associated with other incidents, including January 2023’s Harmony Bridge exploit.

Sky Mavis revealed that around $40 million worth of additional assets have been frozen by law enforcement authorities. However, it will take additional time to recover them. Details regarding the recovery and return of the aforementioned separate pool of assets, however, remain to be unclear.

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