• The Department of Justice has formed a cryptocurrency crime ‘enforcement team.’

  • To combat cybercrime, the Department of Justice will soon have two new tools at its disposal. A cryptocurrency enforcement team will pursue cybercrime, while another department will pursue those who fail to report such crimes.

    During the Aspen Cyber Summit on October 6, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced the formation of a National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team. The team’s primary focus will be on criminals who use cryptocurrency marketplaces to commit crimes such as money laundering and drug sales.

    The team is one of two initiatives announced by the Justice Department that target digital assets, with the second requiring contractors to report cyber breaches immediately.

    The Department of Justice is using crypto to combat criminals.

    According to Monaco, the team was formed with the intention of improving the Justice Department’s ability to close down supermarkets that house cybercriminals. To help make crypto safe for the masses, the team will employ anti-money laundering experts as well as cybersecurity experts. “Cryptocurrency exchanges want to be the banks of the future,” Monaco said. “We need to make sure that people have confidence when they use these systems, and we need to be ready to root out abuse.” She went on to say that the initiative’s overall goal is to protect those who have invested in or are planning to invest in cryptocurrency.

    During the same speech, Monaco announced the formation of a civil cyber fraud initiative. The group will use civil enforcement tools to monitor any companies that receive federal funding on some level as government contractors. The companies will be required to adhere to federal cybersecurity standards. Monaco believes that companies have remained silent in order to conceal potential breaches that could expose the US and its citizens to cybercrime.

    “For far too long, businesses have chosen silence in the mistaken belief that hiding a breach is less risky than bringing it forward and reporting it.” “That changes today,” Monaco promised. Companies that violate these rules will face “hefty fines” under the False Claims Act, according to the Department of Justice.

    These initiatives were announced in response to a series of high-profile and high-dollar cyberattacks on the United States. The most significant of these attacks may have been the one on Colonial Pipeline in May. The attack resulted in local gas shortages up and down the East Coast, as well as new cybersecurity regulations for pipeline owners.

    What's your reaction?