(Bloomberg) -- A hacker who took control of the sanctioned crypto mixer Tornado Cash has relinquished power over the service while also using the protocol to launder the digital tokens plundered during the attack.
The exploiter stole 483,000 of the protocol’s native TORN coins and swapped a large part of the stash into Ether before laundering 472 of the latter — worth about $900,000 — through Tornado Cash, according to research firm Nansen.
Criminals and North Korean hackers have used Tornado Cash, leading the US to slap sanctions on the service. Crypto proponents argue Tornado Cash offers privacy benefits for legitimate users. Over $8 billion has been sent through the protocol since it was set up in 2019, data from Dune Analytics show.
About a week ago, the attacker exploited a vulnerability to gain control of Tornado Cash’s governance, which normally rests with a crypto community. The attacker on May 26 effectively relinquished that power.
The TORN token crashed when the hack occurred, sinking from over $7 to less than $4, but has since climbed back to about $4.50, according to CoinGecko.
Crypto remain notorious as a hotbed of criminal activity, though the pace of hacks has eased from a torrid 2022 when a record $3.8 billion was stolen.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.