(Bloomberg) -- The Justice Department is creating a new team to investigate and prevent hackers from using cryptocurrency exchanges to remain anonymous while extorting money from victims of their attacks, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said Wednesday.
The main goal of the new enforcement team is to take down the infrastructure and “criminal supply chain” that allows hackers to carry out ransomware attacks in which victims’ data is frozen until they pay a ransom, Monaco said.
“Cryptocurrency exchanges want to be the banks of the future,” Monaco told the Aspen Cyber Summit. “We need to make sure that folks can have confidence when they use these systems.”
The department also has created a new cybersecurity fraud initiative aimed at bringing civil prosecutions against government contractors that hide their cybersecurity vulnerabilities or fail to report hacking attacks, Monaco said.
“We will extract very hefty fines,” Monaco said. “This is a tool we have to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used effectively.”
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