U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced the launch of a national cryptocurrency enforcement team at the 2021 Aspen Cyber Summit on Wednesday.
The new initiative will combine securities and banking enforcement. The team will be comprised of cybersecurity and money laundering experts:
Despite their popularity with bad actors, Monaco described crypto and blockchain as "lawful tools." She then recalled that U.S. authorities manage to seize a Bitcoin wallet that belonged to the Colonial Pipeline hacker, recovering part of the ransom.
We are today launching the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team. We won't hesitate to go after laundering platforms and are drawing on cyber experts and prosecutors, and money laundering experts.
The U.S. Department of Justice will be leveraging civil enforcement tools in order to pursue those companies that fail to comply with cybersecurity standards.
When addressing a recent string of ransomware attacks, Monaco said that it was important to focus on the entire ecosystem that makes such attacks possible:
We're making sure we're targeting the ecosystem that supports and fuels the ransomware activity. That means the cryptocurrency exchanges. That means the infrastructure.