Justice Department Establishes NatSec Cyber Section to Combat Cyber Threats to National Security

The Justice Department has announced the creation of the National Security Cyber Section, also known as NatSec Cyber, as part of its ongoing efforts to address cyber threats that pose risks to national security. This new section, housed within the National Security Division (NSD), aims to enhance the department’s capabilities in combating malicious cyberattacks.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen, responsible for the NSD, highlighted that NatSec Cyber will play a crucial role in scaling up and accelerating disruption campaigns and prosecutions against nation-state threat actors, state-sponsored cybercriminals, money launderers associated with cyber threats, and other cyber-enabled risks to national security. By increasing the scale and speed of operations, the Justice Department aims to stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape.

In response to the growing sophistication and frequency of cyberattacks by nation-state actors from countries such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, the NatSec Cyber Section will foster greater collaboration within the department. Specifically, it will strengthen partnerships between the Criminal Division’s Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) and the FBI’s Cyber Division, enabling more effective joint efforts.

Assistant Attorney General Olsen underscored the malicious activities carried out by these nation-state actors, including attacks on critical infrastructure, telecommunication firms, healthcare organizations, and other entities. These actors also engage in cyber-enabled theft of funds and intellectual property to advance their governments’ interests. To counter these threats, the Justice Department has already taken significant actions, such as disrupting the Russia-linked Snake malware and Cyclops Blink botnet, thwarting North Korean hackers’ illicit cryptocurrency use, and prosecuting individuals associated with nation states and cybercriminal groups.

The establishment of NatSec Cyber reflects the Justice Department’s commitment to enhancing its expertise and effectiveness in addressing cyber threats promptly. The new section will position NatSec Cyber prosecutors to act swiftly in response to cyber-enabled threats identified by the FBI or intelligence community partners. By supporting investigations and disruptions from the earliest stages, the Justice Department aims to proactively neutralize cyber threats.

The creation of the NatSec Cyber Section was made possible with congressional approval, following the findings of Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco’s Comprehensive Cyber Review in July 2022. This initiative demonstrates the Justice Department’s determination to strengthen the nation’s cyber defense capabilities and protect its interests in the face of evolving cyber threats.

Share the Post:

Related Posts