FBI Announces Crypto Crime Division to Tackle Ongoing Ransomware Attacks

The US Department of Justice has announced the establishment of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET). The unit, which will specialise in crypto-related crime, has also appointed its first director – long-time prosecutor Eun Young Choi.

The Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) released a statement on February 17 detailing the announcement. NCET aims to counter the criminal misuse of digital assets, and the team will be composed of prosecutors with backgrounds in crypto, money laundering, forfeiture and cybercrime. The proliferation of ransomware will be a particular concern of the unit.

Director Choi, who has a decade’s experience as a cybersecurity prosecutor, has stated she is excited to lead the team:


[As the world of] digital assets grows and evolves, the department, in turn, accelerates and expands its efforts to combat their illicit abuse by criminals of all kinds.

NCET director Eun Young Choi

The NCET announcement has stirred a lot of discussion on Twitter, with many questioning whether the US government has ulterior motives:

FBI’s Recent Crypto History

The US government has intervened in several crypto-related matters over recent years. Notably, the Justice Department impounded US$3.6 billion in bitcoin earlier this month. This was accompanied by the arrest of a would-be rapper and her husband on charges of conspiring to launder some of the funds, part of the proceeds of the notorious Bitfinex hack of 2016.

In late 2021, US law enforcement seized an impressive US$154 million in bitcoin that had been stolen from Sony Life Insurance Company Ltd. The money had been embezzled by a rogue employee using a business email compromise.

By Lauren Claxton, Crypto News Guest Author

Lauren Claxton

Lauren Claxton

Lauren is currently a freelance writer with experience in finance writing. She has a growing interest in the metaverse and all things NFTs and expects to graduate in 2022 with bachelors degrees in creative writing and public relations.

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