DOJ Releases 156-Page Report on Cyber-Digital Task Force
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has released a sweeping new report on the Attorney General’s Cyber-Digital Task Force, providing an initial assessment of the group formed in February 2018 at the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The task force is trying to answer two primary questions: “How is the Department responding to cyber threats? And how can federal law enforcement more effectively accomplish its mission in this important and rapidly evolving area?” The newly-released report aims to outline how the task force has set out to address the first of the two questions.
The report claims a number of successes as evidence of the necessity of the task force, including the Department of Justice’s seizure of the Alphabay, Hansa, and Silk Road darknet markets, which were used to trade illegal goods and services. The report also notably calls for further crackdowns on anonymity tools such as Tor, arguing that “Tor and the existence of dark markets” represent “one of the greatest impediments to our efforts.”
The report also highlights the department’s disruption of multiple botnets used to distribute malware, including the VPNFilter, Kelihos, Avalanche, and Cryptolocker botnets, the latter of which used ransomware to lock down victims’ computers pending a ransom payment, amounting to more than $100 million in losses among impacted individuals.
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