Cryptocurrency thefts are ‘serious national security concerns’: DOJ Crypto Director

Cryptocurrency theft, fraud and attacks are considered “serious national security concerns” by National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) Director Eun Young Choi.

Data from American blockchain analytics firm Chianalysis listed 11 separate decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol attacks totaling more than $718 million in the first two weeks of October.

“October is now the biggest month in the biggest year ever for hacking activity, with more than half of the month to go. So far this month $718 million has been stolen from #DeFi protocols across 11 different hacks,” Chainalysis tweeted on Oct.13.

According to the firm, this year will “likely surpass 2021 as the biggest year for hacking on record.” “To date, hackers have grossed over $3 billion with 125 hacks,” she added. Malicious actors, exploiters and hackers have launched multiple attacks on various protocols and have shown many illegal activities despite the bear market.

“These are serious national security concerns that really go beyond the fact that millions of dollars are being stolen in single episodes that we’re seeing in the DeFi hacks and exploits,” NCET Director of Justice Choi said during the All Markets Summit by Yahoo Finance.

The team, which started over a year ago, was formed as the federal agency’s arm in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry. Since its inception, NCET has helped seize more than $3.8 billion worth of stolen crypto assets in 2022.

“In the early days it was dark web markets and it was people buying and selling all sorts of contraband these days as we see [crypto] surface with every single type of criminal activity the department investigates,” the director said. “Go to a centralized financial institution and ask for the money to come back,” Choi added.

The director acknowledged that cryptocurrency cases can be different, NCET prosecutes these cases similar to how the Justice Department prosecutes criminal activities related to commodities, stocks and other assets. The executive acknowledged that her team plays a crucial role in curbing the high number of crypto crimes currently plaguing the industry.

“We need to work with the private sector and make sure they understand how we identified certain tactics that malicious actors could use to exploit these types of platforms,” ​​she said in the interview.

“The industry is still maturing in our view, and in many ways we’re looking at companies and hoping they understand that they’re doing things like basic risk mitigation, have robust compliance programs, and making sure that’s the case Reducing the opportunities for these types of exploits on their own platform is the first and best line of defense,” the director added.

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Fry Electronics Team

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