U.S. Treasury Department Connects Lazarus Group and Tornado Cash to North Korean Nuclear Weapons Programs

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The U.S Treasury Department is redesignating the sanction it imposed against crypto mixing service Tornado Cash earlier this year due to the protocol allegedly having ties to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

The Treasury department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced earlier this year that Americans are barred from using Tornado Cash because it potentially posed national security risks. 

The sanction is now getting a new designation as the US government aims to hamper the advancement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and deter cybercrimes.

In a statement, the Treasury department says that Tornado Cash enables illicit cyber activities that ultimately support North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program. It says that Lazarus Group, a hacker group backed by the North Korean (DPRK) government, uses the platform to launder the proceeds of their crimes.

“OFAC simultaneously delisted and redesignated Tornado Cash under E.O. 13722 and E.O. 13694, as amended, for its role in enabling malicious cyber activities, which ultimately support the DPRK’s WMD program. Effective immediately, the August 8, 2022 designation of Tornado Cash is no longer operative, and it is wholly replaced by today’s action.”

In April, the Treasury department also sanctioned three Ethereum (ETH) wallets connected to the group believed to be behind the Ronin Network attack in March.

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