The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced new principles that could lead to it taking pre-emptive measures regarding cybersecurity threats.
The legislation, announced last week by Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco in a speech at the Munich Cyber Security Conference, would require prosecutors, representatives, and experts to consider when to employ disruptive actions against cyberattacks. Even if doing so could perhaps tip off cybercriminals and potentially ruin the possibility of charges and arrests.
Such steps will implement if the Department of Justice believes they would decrease dangers to victims. Monaco stated that potential measures might include supplying decryptor keys or confiscating servers used to launch subsequent cyberattacks.
Monaco also expects restrictions and export limitations employed when necessary. Just not simply those that the DoJ or even the United States imposes. She hopes that the US’s international and private-sector allies will also weigh in. She also urges DoJ personnel to collaborate with US Cyber Command and others to ensure unity of purpose and action.
The deputy attorney general went on to say that charging and arresting cybercriminals would remain a primary concern in cybercrime investigations. Alternative strategies would be required when malicious actors sought safe harbor in rogue nations or acted under a foreign power’s orders.
Another DoJ strategy will attempt to prevent cryptocurrency abuse.
Monaco said that prosecutors in charge of major cyber cases would thereafter compel to communicate with the Department of Justice’s international and cybercrime experts. They should find international activities that could help avert a threat.
Therefore, a new International Virtual Currency Initiative will thus permit what Monaco defined as a more collaborative international law enforcement initiative to monitor money over the blockchain.
The initiative’s personnel would also educate potential offenders about financial laws and anti-money laundering procedures. It hopes that they will operate on the right side of the law.
Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit
Monaco also confirmed the formation of a Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit (VAXU). It would bring together cryptocurrency professionals into a single central hub capable of providing equipment, blockchain investigation, virtual asset confiscation, and training to the remainder of the FBI.
The Unit would collaborate with the FBI’s pre-existing National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team. It expanded to include a dozen investigators since its inception in late 2021. The organization hired its first director, Eun Young Choi, last week. Monaco characterized Choi as a veteran computer crimes prosecutor and field commander.
VAXU revealed in conjunction with the February 8 arrest of “tech innovators” Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, and Heather Morgan, 31. They are a married couple suspected of plotting to smuggle $4.5 billion in cryptocurrency. It is from Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex in 2016.
Monaco stated that the quest to apprehend the pair was a contemporary adaption of an ancient law enforcement tactic: money trailing. She informed her audience of the creation of VAXU. It demonstrates that the Department of Justice and the organizations it governs are changing to address today’s dangers.
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