FBI launches cryptocurrency crime unit

Featured image

Share this article

Bitcoin coins on top of 0 bills

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco announced the formation of a new FBI team called the Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit (VAXU) at this year’s annual Munich Cyber Security Conference. The goal of VAXU is to “combine cryptocurrency experts into one nerve center that can provide equipment, blockchain analysis, virtual asset seizure, and training to the rest of the FBI,” according to Monaco.

Read more: HIPAA compliant email: the definitive guide

The creation of the new FBI unit comes after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had seized $3.6 billion in stolen Bitcoin and charged a New York couple with money laundering and conspiracy. This is the largest financial seizure the DOJ has conducted in its history. 

Cybercriminals are consistently using cryptocurrency as a means to gather ransom from their ransomware victims. According to one study, cybercriminals held $11 billion in cryptocurrency from known illicit sources by the end of 2021. This is substantially more than in 2020 when they only held $3 billion.

Ransomware and digital extortion – like many other crimes fueled by cryptocurrency – only work if the bad guys get paid – which means we have to bust their business model,” said Monaco in her speech.

Read more: Why health systems must take ransomware protection seriously

Monaco also used her speech to announce an international collaboration to investigate cryptocurrency-related crimes. The International Virtual Currency Initiative will foster responsible regulation and anti-money laundering requirements to combat the abuse of cryptocurrency. 

Healthcare organizations need to protect themselves against ransomware

The launch of VAXU and other cryptocurrency initiatives demonstrates the seriousness of ransomware threats. 

31% of global organizations claim that they were a victim of some form of a ransomware attack in 2021. Ransomware is a lucrative business for cybercriminals, and healthcare organizations need to take proactive steps to protect their sensitive data. Otherwise, they may be faced with an average cost of $9.23 million to respond to a data breach.

Read more: What is Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)?

Paubox Email Suite Plus is a HIPAA compliant email security solution for covered entities. Not only can it send encrypted emails by default, but it can also protect your inbox from malicious threats. Our robust inbound security tools will block and quarantine suspicious emails containing spam, malware, and viruses.

Paubox also has several layers of extra security including ExecProtect to combat display name spoofing, DomainAge to stop emails from recently registered domain names, and Zero Trust Email to authenticate servers.

Our HITRUST CSF certified software is exclusively made for healthcare organizations and business associates. So you can rest assured that we make it a priority to protect your inbox.

Try Paubox Email Suite Plus for FREE today.
Author Photo

About the author

Sara Nguyen

Read more by Sara Nguyen

Get started with
end-to-end protection

Bolster your organization’s security with healthcare’s most trusted HIPAA compliant email solution

The #1-rated email encryption 
and security software on G2

G2 Badge: Email Encryption Leader Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Security Best Usability Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Encryption Momentum Leader Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Security Best Relationship Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Security Users Most Likely to Recommend Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Best Relationship Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Best Meets Requirements Fall 2022
G2 Badge - Users Most Likely to Recommend Summer 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Best Results Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Best Usability Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Best Support Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Easiest To Use Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Easiest Setup Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Easiest Admin Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Easiest to do Business with Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Highest User Adoption 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway High Performer Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Momentum Leader Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Most Implementable Fall 2022
G2 Badge: Email Gateway Users Most Likely to Recommend Fall 2022