- The FBI has become more aggressive towards hackers.
- The move is due to a recent rise in crypto and cybercrime.
- Also, there seems to be a global move towards tighter crypto regulations.
The recent rise in crypto adoption has led to a corresponding rise in crypto and cybercrime. In response, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is working on enhancing its ability to fight cybercrime.
According to a Bloomberg report the FBI is focusing on ways to out hack criminals. For example, the agency is learning to remotely access networks and expelling attackers. The report reveals that efforts towards achieving this started in 2018. However, cybercrime scaled up over the last year.
FBI assistant special agent in charge of cyber investigations Elvis Chan shared,
“If there’s been a silver lining in this last year it’s that because of Covid, cybercrime has been so nonstop that we’ve had to be more aggressive and more creative. Since the pandemic, it has gotten bananas. It really supercharged the bad guys, which has led us to have to supercharge as well.”
To this end, the FBI is working on gaining remote access to networks to block entry points for hackers. For instance, the recent attack on Colonial Pipeline by DarkSide cybercrime group. Darkside attacked Colonial Pipeline’s critical infrastructure and holding it hostage. The cybercrime group asked for a ransom paid in bitcoin to end the attack.
However, after the ransom was paid US agents were able to recover part of the crypto ransom. In fact, the incident was so shocking it sent shock waves through the crypto community. Some observers even claimed that the FBI had managed to hack bitcoin.
This is however untrue as technology that can hack the top blockchain is yet to be invented. However, the US agency did manage to hack some of DarkSide’s wallets.
This incident and others have made the Biden administration keen to stamp out crypto crime. Not only the Biden administration, but governments around the world are making moves to tighten crypto regulations. In fact, UK regulators recently banned popular crypto exchange Binance. The exchange was banned for failing to meet regulatory compliance.
Similarly, the South African and Namibian governments have been warning crypto investors. This comes after South African crypto trading platform AfriCrypt lost over $3 million in bitcoin earlier this year. Specifically, the Bank of Namibia warned crypto scam victims that the financial institution would not provide recourse to them.
The entity added that it does not currently have the legal power to act on crypto crime. This is because crypto falls in an ambiguous asset class. As such, this makes it hard for most governments to adequately regulate crypto.
Meanwhile, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is one global organization working on improving crypto regulation.