Harmony Intensifies Search for Horizon Bridge Hackers, Ups Bounty to $10 Million

Harmony Intensifies Search for Horizon Bridge Hackers, Ups Bounty to $10 Million

Harmony (ONE) has revealed on June 30, 2022, that it has begun a ‘global manhunt,’ in collaboration with all crypto exchanges, law enforcement, Chainalysis, and Anchain.AI, to fish out the hacker(s) who recently drained $100 million from the Horizon bridge. The team is also offering a $10 million bounty to the attacker(s) plus zero criminal charges, if the money is returned on or before July 4, 23:00 GMT. Anyone who has information that could lead to the return of the assets will also receive $10 million.

Harmony Increases Bounty to $10 Million 

Just four days after its $1 million bounty offer for the return of the $100 million recently stolen from its Horizon Bridge was heavily criticized by members of the crypto Twitter community, Harmony (ONE) has changed its fund recovery tactics.

In a Twitter thread today, the Harmony team stated categorically that it has now embarked on a global manhunt for the perpetrators of the $100 million heist on its Horizon Bridge earlier this month. 

The team says it has notified all cryptocurrency exchanges of the incident and is currently working with law enforcement agents, as well as blockchain research and analytics firms Chainalysis and AnChain.AI to fish out the bad actors.

Importantly, Harmony has made it clear that it’s offering the hacker(s) what it calls a ‘final opportunity’ to return the stolen funds minus a $10 million bounty before 23:00 GMT on July 4, 2022, and no criminal charges will be pressed against them.

“At this time, the Harmony team has offered one final opportunity for individuals involved to return the assets with anonymity. The final term is they retain $10 million and return the remaining amount, in addition to the team ceasing the investigation. The deadline for a response from the responsible party is Monday, July 4th at 23:00 GMT to initiate communication,” wrote Harmony.

In the same vein, Harmony is also offering $10 million for accurate information that could lead to the return of the stolen funds. 

“The team has announced a 10 million offering for information that leads to the return of stolen funds. The ETH address to return the funds to is 0xd6ddd996b2d5b7db22306654fd548ba2a58693ac and information leading to the arrest can be e-mailed to the team at [email protected] The transaction ID for the message sent to the culprit(s) is  0xa4eda32985503e91dd02c31222a5e53a6a40f55129ec86c716d6446a7186b426,” the team added.

Lazarus Group Blamed

Interestingly, North Korea’s notorious hacking entity Lazarus Group has been blamed for the Harmony attack. Per a blog post by Elliptic on June 29, 2022, the attack and the pattern with which the stolen funds are being laundered is a strong indication that Lazarus may be responsible for the theft.

Elliptic says the criminals have successfully sent 41 percent of the stolen $100 million to the Tornado Cash Mixer, a solution used to obfuscate crypto transaction trails.

“There are strong indications that North Korea’s Lazarus Group may be responsible for this theft, based on the nature of the hack and the subsequent laundering of the stolen funds. Lazarus is believed to have stolen over $2 billion in cryptoassets from exchanges and DeFi services,” noted Elliptic.

Earlier in April reports emerged that Lazarus is also responsible for the $625 million Ronin hack of March 2022. As reported by crypto.news on June 29, 2022, the Ronin Bridge is now fully functional and all victims of the heist have received their complete refunds. 

Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel

Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel is a graduate of Mass Communication and Media Studies. He joined the blockchain movement in 2016 when a friend of his introduced him to an investment platform accepting bitcoin. He has never looked back since then. Emmanuel believes the world needs real change and freedom from poverty. He sees crypto and the underlying distributed ledger technology as the catalyst to a better future for all.