U.S. Justice and Commerce Departments Launch Disruptive Technology Strike Force

United States Marshals Service Flag, American Flag

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Commerce (DOC) have created the Disruptive Technology Strike Force to protect the country's technologies from nation-state adversaries, according to a prepared statement.

DOJ's National Security Division and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will lead the strike force. Meanwhile, strike force members consist of experts from the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations division and U.S. Attorneys' Offices in 12 metro regions, DOJ noted.

What to Expect from the Disruptive Technology Strike Force

The strike force will protect U.S. national security "by preventing... sensitive technologies from being used for malign purposes," said Matthew S. Axelrod, BIS's assistant secretary for export enforcement. To do so, the strike focus is focused on:

  • Investigating and prosecuting criminal violations of export laws
  • Enhancing administrative enforcement of U.S. export controls
  • Fostering partnerships with private-sector organizations
  • Using international partnerships to coordinate law enforcement actions and strategies
  • Utilizing data analytics and intelligence to develop and perform investigations
  • Conducting field office trainings
  • Building relationships between the strike force and members of the Intelligence Community

The strike force enables DOJ and DOC officials to "strike back against adversaries trying to siphon off most advanced technology and to attack tomorrow's national security threats today," U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco indicated.

Accordingly, the strike force could help the U.S. protect its technologies and further reduce the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches nationwide.

China-Linked Hacker Group Targets U.S. Covid-19 Relief Funds

The Disruptive Technology Strike Force announcement comes after the Secret Service reported in December 2022 that APT41, a China-linked hacker group, stole more than $20 million targeted for Covid-19 relief in the United States. This cyberattack affected over 2,000 accounts and 40,000 financial transactions across 12 states.

Previously, President Biden in June 2022 signed three cybersecurity bills that encourage the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and state and local governments to work together to protect against cyberattacks.

Cybercrime remains a global issue, and government agencies are exploring ways to guard against current and emerging cyber threats. This may ultimately lead to new cybersecurity legislation and collaboration among government agencies.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.