US to increase scrutiny on cryptocurrency, federal contractors in effort to slow hacking

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U.S. officials unveiled a suite of cybersecurity initiatives Wednesday, from cracking down on illicit cryptocurrency usages to increasing transparency about breaches, as part of an ongoing effort to slow rampant cybercrime.

The Justice Department signaled it will increase its focus on illicit use of virtual , which is frequently used in ransomware attacks, and move to punish federal that hide security incidents. In a separate plan, the Security Administration this year will require top air and rail transportation companies to report cyberattacks to the government, name an internal cyber chief capable of corresponding about cyber incidents and develop a plan for recovering from attacks.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco unveiled two initiatives: a national cryptocurrency enforcement team and a civil cyber fraud initiative. Ransomware and cryptocurrency are “inexorably linked” because of the anonymity that cryptocurrency payments help afford, Monaco said at the Aspen Cyber Summit.

“We want to strengthen our capacity to dismantle the financial ecosystem that enables these criminal actors to flourish, quite frankly, and to profit from what they’re doing,” Monaco said. “And we’re going to do that by drawing on our cyber

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