In response to the National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan (NCSIP), the Department of Justice (DoJ) will combine the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) with the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS). The new organization will be the tip of the spear for all ransomware initiatives spelled out in the NCSIP.
We made reference to the The Department of Justice’s National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) in our analysis of Crypto Enforcement Actions, the SEC Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, and National Security Risk and in the context of the Bitzlato Case, in which the Crackdown on Crypto Exchanges and Russian Cybercrime Activities were one and the same.
As result of these analyses, we have on the lookout for stakeholders and new organizations with enforcement and regulatory mandates. In January, we surfaced the following organizations for your decision intelligence and risk awareness efforts:
- New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS)
- The Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN):
- The Commodities Futures Trading Commission;
- The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA); and
- The Department of Justice’s National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET).
At the time, we noted that “U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Department of Justice’s National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) join the New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) as THE crypto law enforcement agencies of record. OODA Loop is on the lookout for leadership of note in the space and SEC’s main crypto regulation department. We will keep th readership posted as we learn more about the people and departments in this nascent law enforcement and regulatory space.”
DoJ ‘Supercharging’ Cybercrime Division to Fight Ransomware
“The National Cybersecurity Strategy highlights ransomware not as only an important concern, but as a threat to national security.”
- The Department of Justice (DoJ) announced [on Thursday] that it is “supercharging” its cybercrime division by merging it with the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET).
- The DoJ’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) will work closely with the NCET to fight ransomware – a strategic objective of the White House’s new NCSIP – two top DoJ officials announced today during a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) event.
- “Today, I am pleased to announce that we are supercharging CCIPS by adding to it another hugely successful criminal division team,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, Nicole Argentieri, said. “Beginning this week, we are merging the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, NCET, into CCIPS – creating a single office that consolidates the criminal division’s expertise in all aspects of fighting cybercrime.”
- Argentieri explained that NCET will continue its mission of investigating criminal offenses involving the abuse of cryptocurrency, now within the cybercrime division.
- “It’s now time to bring NCET to the next level. NCET, to date, has been an enormously successful startup. Merging it into CCIPS will give it the resources and runway to accomplish even more,” Argentieri said. “It’s become obvious to everyone in the cybercrime field that cryptocurrency work and cyber prosecutions are intertwined and will become even more so in the future.”
- She continued, adding, “This merger elevates cryptocurrency within the criminal division by giving it equal status to computer crime and intellectual property work.”
- Merging these two departments, Argentieri said, better positions the DoJ to meet the challenges set out by the White House’s new NCSIP.
- “An urgent priority for the merged CCIPS/NCET is the fight against ransomware,” she said. “The National Cybersecurity Strategy highlights ransomware not as only an important concern, but as a threat to national security.”
- The White House identified “counter cybercrime, defeat ransomware” as a strategic objective in its NCSIP released last week.
- The DoJ, alongside the FBI, was tasked with spearheading or contributing to all five initiatives that fall under this strategic objective – including disrupting ransomware crimes and supporting international, private, and state entities in mitigating ransomware risk.
- “This new supercharged CCIPS, merged with NCET, will use its combined expertise to answer this urgent call,” Argentieri said. “CCIPS cybercrime experts will investigate ransomware cases, and NCET cryptocurrency specialists will pursue all available opportunities to track criminals through their ransomware payments – vigorously pursuing ransomware payments and freezing or seizing them before they go to Russia or other ransomware hotspots.”
- Kenneth Polite, the assistant attorney general for the criminal division, said during the CSIS event today that the White House charging DoJ with nearly 40 percent of the initiatives in the NCSIP is a “testament to our crucial role in this country’s cybersecurity equation.”
- “Computer intrusions are crimes. Running a botnet is a crime. Ransomware is a crime, and disrupting crimes is what the criminal division does,” Polite said. (1)
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The National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan is Now Available
Crypto Enforcement Actions, the SEC Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, and National Security Risk
In the Bitzlato Case, the Crackdown on Crypto Exchanges and Russian Cybercrime Activities are One in the Same
With Coinbase Investigation and $100M Settlement, New York is the Tip of the Crypto Regulatory Spear