U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco on Wednesday unveiled two new judicial enforcement efforts targeting government contractors who fail to report cryptocurrencies and cyber violations.
Ms Monaco announced Wednesday during a virtual speech at the Aspen Cyber Summit that the launch of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Commission aims to “strengthen” the judiciary’s ability to disable financial markets that allow cybercriminals to “prosper”.
The team will have a mix of anti-money laundering and cybersecurity experts.
“Cryptocurrency transactions want to be the banks of the future, we need to make sure everyone can gain confidence when using these systems, and we need to be prepared to root out abuse,” Ms Monaco said. “The goal is to protect consumers.”
Cybercriminals who attack US companies through ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts computers and demands payment, are usually paid for in cryptocurrency. Hackers often use a combination of different cryptocurrency services to accept and transfer these payments, helping them to hide from law enforcement.
He also announced the creation of a civil cyber fraud initiative, which would “prevent companies, government contractors, and federal funders using civil enforcement tools to fail to comply with recommended cyber security standards.”
“For a long time, companies have chosen peace under the false belief that there is less risk of cover-up than when a violation is brought forward and reported. That is changing today,” Ms Monaco said.
The announcements come after several high-profile cyber attacks against US companies and government agencies earlier this year.
Cybercriminals attacked a major U.S. pipeline operator and caused a local gas shortage on the U.S. East Coast in May. The incident led to new cyber security rules for pipeline owners in July.