US DOJ Announces Leader for New FBI Crypto Unit


The new national cryptocurrency enforcement team will be led by a prosecutor in charge of the case against Russian hackers, the U.S. Department of Justice said, also adding that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will launch a unit for blockchain analysis and virtual asset seizure.

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Following a successful case against the Russian hacker who helped steal data about more than 80 million JPMorgan & Chase Co customers, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced that Eun Young Choi has been chosen to lead the “virtual asset exploitation” unit, according to the official statement.

Monaco also said that the innovation of a new global virtual currency initiative that is underway will be aggressive about disrupting cyber threats.

“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,” she said.

The cryptocurrency enforcement team is formed after the Justice Department made the largest-ever financial seizure earlier this month, in which a couple was charged for laundering $4.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the 2016 hack of Bitfinex.

According to Choi’s LinkedIn profile, she has served as Monaco’s senior counsel and worked for almost a decade as a cybercrime coordinator and assistant U.S. attorney in New York.

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The crypto industry has witnessed a series of high-profile cyberattacks last year on the largest U.S. fuel pipeline network and the world’s largest beef supplier which has called for a higher level of scrutiny of the expanding industry. In such attacks, ransomware groups often demand their pay in bitcoin.

According to Reuters, cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain technology, a database shared across a network of computers, in which records are difficult to change once added.

Blockchain.News on February 17, 2022, reported that the FBI said law enforcement can barely keep up with the advancements of criminal activities in the cryptocurrency sector.

The FBI said that cybercriminals have embraced digital innovations in the cryptocurrencies technology so rapidly that it is getting hard to keep up, the report added.

Bitcoin has become the most favourable form of cryptocurrency payment among criminals in ransomware attacks since it is unhackable and can be transferred in large amounts instantly without having to go through a banking system.

Image source: Shutterstock


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