October 7 (WNN) — The Justice Department has announced the launch of a new national enforcement team to investigate crimes involving cryptocurrency, specifically to investigate crimes committed by virtual currency exchanges, money launderers and hackers, who use it in their ransomware schemes. Ask for payment.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, in a statement on Wednesday, announced the creation of the department’s new National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, saying it would “strengthen criminal actors” to strengthen the department’s expertise in cyber and money laundering. enabling financial institutions to flourish – and quite clearly for profit – from abusing cryptocurrency platforms.”
“As technology progresses, so should the department so that we are ready to root out abuse on these platforms and ensure user trust in these systems,” she said.
Cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology that decentralizes control over a scattered network, making it attractive to malicious actors, especially those for scams and to launder funds.
Over the past year, the Justice Department has filed charges against several people for crimes related to cryptocurrency, including Glenn Arcaro, who pleaded guilty in early September to involvement in Bitconnect, a cryptocurrency investment scheme that led to the United States. Cheated investors in the state and abroad. over $2 billion.
Due to its decentralized nature, cryptocurrencies are also widely demanded as a form of payment in ransomware attacks.
During the Biden administration, the United States and supply-chain companies have primarily been the victims of Russian hackers, who attack their cyber infrastructure with malware and once again take control of their services. Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, demands a ransom of millions.
Gary Peters, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, paid out more than $412 million in cryptocurrencies to cybercriminals last year, representing a 15% increase from the year before. .
The Justice Department said NCET will work to “prevent, prevent, investigate and prosecute criminal misuse of cryptocurrencies” as well as recover the illegal proceeds of those crimes.
The Justice Department said that the use of cryptocurrencies for criminal endeavors is widespread, from money laundering to the sale of drugs and weapons, so NCET will “spur the development of expertise in cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies across all aspects of the department’s work.”
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite said the Criminal Department was already a leader in investigating and prosecuting the criminal misuse of cryptocurrencies.
Polite said, “Building this team will build on this leadership to investigate and prosecute fraudulent misuse, illegal laundering and other criminal activities involving cryptocurrency by combining and coordinating expertise across the division in this ever-evolving field.” ”