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FBI forms virtual asset unit to address ransomware


The FBI said Tuesday it has created a “virtual asset” unit that will serve as a “nerve center” for its virtual currency programs to help address issues including ransomware attacks.

It said in a statement that virtual currency experts and cross-division resources are embedded in the unit in a task force setting “to seamlessly integrate intelligence operations across the FBI.”

“Virtual currency is used to facilitate nearly every type of online criminal activity,” including ransomware attacks, hostile nation states’ attacks and child exploitation, the FBI said in a statement.

It said the unit became operational on Feb. 7, and is led by its criminal investigative division’s financial crimes section.