US Department of Justice announces launch of National Cryptographic Enforcement Team

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An official from the Attorney General’s Office said the US government will take a more active role in enforcement actions against actors who use cryptocurrencies to launder money and other cybercrime.

Speaking at the Aspen Institute Cyber ​​Summit on October 6, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said that the Department of Justice launched the National Crypto Enforcement Team, an initiative that aims to go after platforms “that help criminals launder or hide their criminal proceeds.” Monaco cited its office’s action against the Darknet-based Bitcoin (BTC) mixing service in August, but said the US government should do more.

“We want to strengthen our ability to dismantle the financial system that enables these criminal actors to thrive – quite frankly – to profit from what they are doing,” Monaco said. “We will do this by relying on our cyber experts, cyber prosecutors, and money laundering experts.”

She added:

Cryptocurrency exchanges want to be the banks of the future. We need to make sure that people can have confidence when they use these systems, and we need to make sure that we are prepared to root out the abuse that could control them.”

Related: The US attorney general has issued guidelines for enforcing encryption laws

Monaco has often been a central figure in the US government’s response to ransomware and major cyber attacks involving cryptocurrency payments. She was part of a task force that “found and recovered” millions of dollars in BTC paid to DarkSide hackers in Russia following an attack on the Colonial pipeline system in May.

The deputy attorney general also announced a civilian cyber-fraud initiative aimed at prosecuting government contractors who fail to report violations and follow security standards.