According to a PeckShield notice sent on Friday, a wallet address connected with last year’s alleged AnubisDAO rug pull has begun to move funds from the heist. The hackers already funneled 1,018 ETH via Tornado Cash at the time of writing.
Dormant Funds From AnubisDAO Rug Pull Comes Alive
According to Etherscan data, an address labeled AnubisDAO Liquidity Rug 3 moved a total of 1,097 ETH ($1.3 million) to another address. Since then, 1,018 ETH ($1.18M) has been laundered through Tornado Cash from the intermediate address.
AnubisDAO, launched on October 28, was a crypto project that intended to capitalize on the “dog-coin” frenzy with its branding. It presented itself as a fork of OlympusDAO, a decentralized reserve currency financed by bond sales and liquidity provider fees. Through the sale of its native token ANKH to investors, the project was able to raise 13,597 ETH, worth $60 million at the time.
In October, however, the project’s liquidity was drained in what is alleged to be a “rug pull,” in which the developers behind the startup escaped with the money. The funds raised were transferred to a separate wallet address, which subsequently aggregated them into the previously specified tagged address. Since there was no liquidity for trading the coin, the rug pull essentially drove the price of the ANKH token to zero.
The funds transferred today are the first from the wallet since the theft 236 days ago. At the time of writing, the marked wallet still held 12,500 ETH from AnubisDAO, which is worth $14.5 million at today’s ether value. Considering that the value of Ether has dropped by more than 70% of its dollar value since the heist, the combined value of the drained funds is currently less than $16 million.
Hackers, Crypto and Tornado Cash
Tornado Cash has grown in popularity among hackers and crypto fraudsters. One of the greatest crypto hacks in history occurred in March of this year when hackers believed to be working for the North Korean government stole over $600 million in Ether from the popular P2E game Axie Infinity. Later, the perpetrators sent a portion of the proceeds ($100 million at the time) through Tornado Cash, a so-called “mixing service” meant to mask the source of funds.
Tornado Cash is a protocol that enables users to send in crypto from their own wallets and receive it at a separate address. Tornado Cash is a cryptocurrency where users’ tokens are pooled with those of other users under a smart contract, making individual transactions tricky, if not impossible, to trace. Users have reportedly placed over 3.2 million ETH (about $3.5 billion USD) into the service since its launch in August of this year, according to the service’s official website.
Nearly a third of the $3.5 billion that has passed through Tornado Cash has been “laundered” through the protocol, with “the vast majority from thefts and hacks,” according to cybersecurity threat analyst Arda Akartuna of blockchain tracking firm Elliptic. A spokesperson for Chainalysis, another blockchain tracking business, stated that the company estimates $1.2 billion in “illicit funds” had passed through Tornado Cash.