The U.S. Treasury Department’s sanctions watchdog has banned three North Koreans from supporting the Lazarus Group. This North Korean hacking group is known for its crypto thefts, which U.S. officials say were used to fund the nation’s weapons program.

The agency stated that two of the sanctioned people, Cheng Hung Man, and Wu Huihui were OTC traders who facilitated crypto-transactions for Lazarus. A third person, Sim, Hyon Sop provided additional financial support. The Treasury investigation linked several bitcoin addresses to Wu while also tying ether, arbitrum, and Binance chain addresses to Sim.

In a recent statement, Brian Nelson, undersecretary of the Department for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said that the DPRK continued to use virtual currency to gain access to the international financial system, and to generate revenue for its regime.

The Lazarus Group is accused of mounting a multi-billion dollar campaign against the crypto industry, with proceeds allegedly funding North Korea’s weapon program. The Treasury claims that the hacker group was controlled by North Korea’s intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau. It is also said to have been behind the biggest-ever crypto heist, when it stole 625 million dollars in digital assets tied to Axie’s Infinity game from the Ronin Network.

Sim was later charged with conspiracy by the U.S. Department of Justice due to his involvement with OTC traders.

UPDATE: (April 24, 2023 at 14:40 UTC). Adds allegations and names.

UPDATE: (April 24, 2023 at 15:00 UTC). Added comments from an official of the Treasury Department.

UPDATE (April 24, 2023, 15:28 UTC): Adds detail on digital asset addresses.

UPDATE: (April 24, 2023 at 17:45 UTC: Adds charge from DOJ.

Nikhilesh De.