The FBI will establish a unit to monitor cryptocurrency ransomware

The FBI and the US Justice Department are both experimenting with cryptography. Recent high-profile triumphs provided both organizations with the impetus they needed to act.


The FBI and the US Justice Department are both experimenting with cryptography. Recent high-profile triumphs provided both organizations with the impetus they needed to act.
FBI | Image: Dealine

The Justice Department has appointed "a seasoned computer crimes prosecutor" as their new crypto zar, according to Reuters.


"The FBI is launching a unit for blockchain analysis and virtual asset confiscation," according to the press release. Both actions demonstrate the United States' changed attitude regarding cryptocurrency.


The New Crypto Czar at the Justice Department


The National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) of the US Justice Department has a new leader. "A prosecutor who spearheaded the case against a Russian hacker who helped steal information of more than 80 million JPMorgan & Chase Co clients," said Ms. Eun Young Choi.


Director Choi is quoted in the Justice Department's press release:


“The NCET will play a pivotal role in ensuring that as the technology surrounding digital assets grows and evolves, the department in turn accelerates and expands its efforts to combat their illicit abuse by criminals of all kinds. I am excited to lead the NCET’s incredible and talented team of attorneys, and to get to work on this important priority for the department.”

Reuter quotes Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco as saying at Young Choi's announcement that offenders should be aware of their organization's goals. Lisa Monaco said that criminals who use cryptocurrency to fuel their scams are receiving a strong warning from us.


In addition, she notes that they also appeal to all bitcoin-related businesses to help them weed out cryptocurrency fraud. Those who do not comply will be held accountable in every way we can.


According to Monaco, their organization will act quickly and break things:


“Moving forward, prosecutors, agents, and analysts will now assess – at each stage of a cyber investigation – whether to use disruptive actions against cyber threats, even if they might otherwise tip the cybercriminals off and jeopardize the potential for charges and apprehension.”