US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced new enforcement initiatives targeting crypto contractors who fail to report cyber breaches ‘because cryptocurrency is used in a wide variety of criminal activity.”
The creation of a National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) was unveiled on Wednesday during a virtual speech at the Aspen Cyber Summit, whose goal is to tackle complex investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuses of crypto assets, particularly crimes committed by exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, and money laundering infrastructure actors.
The team will also assist in recovering assets lost to extortion and fraud, including payment to ransomware.
“Cryptocurrency exchanges want to be the banks of the future, well we need to make sure that folks can have confidence when they’re using these systems and we need to be poised to root out abuse.”
“The point is to protect consumers.”
To head the team, the agency is looking for someone with experience in technology underpinning cryptocurrencies and blockchain, it said.
With this, the DOJ aims to “strengthen” the Department’s ability to disable financial markets that allow cybercriminals to “flourish.”
The NCET will investigate and prosecute crypto cases; support the coordination and sharing of information and evidence among law enforcement offices, and collaborate and build relationships with private sector actors with expertise in crypto matters to further the criminal enforcement mission.
“For too long, companies have chosen silence under the mistaken belief that its less risky to hide a breach than to bring it forward and report it. That changes today.”