With the rapidly increasing popularity of ransomware attacks in recent months, the U.S. Department of Justice has stepped up to tighten its surveillance on the crypto space.
An announcement made by the U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco during the Aspen Cyber Summit revealed two new crypto-focused initiatives launched by the Justice Department to cover cybercrime reporting.
The first mechanism, dubbed the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET), involves anti-money laundering and cybersecurity experts who will focus on dismantling financial ecosystems that allow these criminals to flourish.
DAG Monaco said,
“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 customers.”
In addition to the NCET, Monaco also announced the launch of a second mechanism initiative, the Civil Cyber Fraud, which will serve as a watchdog against government contractors in possession of federal funds who refuse to comply with cybersecurity standards.
It is worth noting that some companies under ransomware attacks often tend to sweep the attack under the carpet in a bid to hide the company’s loopholes from customers who have entrusted their funds to them in confidence.
The Civil Cyber Fraud initiative will encourage reporting on any ransomware attack.
“For too long, companies have chosen silence under the mistaken belief that it’s less risky to hide a breach than to bring it forward and report it. That changes today,” Monaco concluded.
This new development comes off the back of a series of ransomware attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges and government agencies in the United States, with hackers demanding payments in cryptocurrencies as blind to their real identity.
Only a few months back, popular ransomware attacker Revil launched what is still the largest attack the crypto space has ever recorded, covering several continents, affecting over 1 million companies in 17 countries, and demanding $70 million in bitcoin.