Hacker Shuffles $323 Million in Ethereum, Raises Money Laundering Concerns

• The address linked to the theft of $323 million worth of Ethereum (ETH) from Wormhole began shuffling assets.
• The hacker transferred the funds onto a decentralized exchange (DEX) and then cycled funds around different DeFi protocols.
• The hacker swapped 95,630 ETH ($157.2 million) into staked ether (stETH) through OpenOcean, the famous decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator.

The address linked to the theft of a whopping $323 million worth of Ethereum (ETH) from Wormhole has recently shown signs of activity, according to records on Etherscan. The news about the activity on the cross-chain protocol was first brought to light by Twitter user @Spreekaway on Monday, January 23.

Wormhole is a communication bridge that links Solana to other Decentralized Finance (DeFi) blockchain networks. The theft occurred back in 2022 and is considered to be one of the biggest of its kind. Fortunately, the losses were refunded by the crypto division of trading giant Jump, which is a major force behind Wormhole.

When the activity on the address related to the theft began, it looked like the hacker was consolidating Ether before making a colossal swap for 95,630 ETH ($157.2 million) into the staked ether (stETH) through OpenOcean, the popular decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator. After that, the hacker swapped the stETH for 86,473 wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) using the decentralized exchange Uniswap.

The threat actor then proceeded to move the WBTC to the decentralized trading platform Kyber Network, where he swapped it for USDC and then transferred the USDC to MakerDAO’s decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). The hacker then used the USDC to take out a loan of $12.7 million in DAI.

Given the sophisticated nature of the hacker’s movements, it is likely that he is using the funds to launder his ill-gotten gains. It is also possible that he is attempting to remain anonymous by swapping between different assets and protocols.

The hacker’s actions are of grave concern as it could lead to a significant increase in the already high levels of money laundering taking place in the crypto space. It is therefore important for users to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect their funds from being stolen. Moreover, the industry must continue to work together to identify and stop this kind of criminal activity.