DOJ launches program to train prosecutors in cybersecurity topics

The US Department of Justice announced a new fellowship program today designed to train "a new generation of prosecutors and attorneys" on cybersecurity issues, in order to better tackle national security threats and cybercrime.

Named the Cyber Fellowship, the new program is one of the outcomes of a 120-day review of cybersecurity challenged the DOJ began in May this year following a series of major cyber-attacks against the US (i.e., Colonial Pipeline incident, Nobelium/Exchange zero-day attacks, SolarWinds supply-chain attack).

"As we have witnessed this past year, cyber threats pose a significant and increasing risk to our national security, our economic security, and our personal security," Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said today.

"We need to develop the next generation of prosecutors with the training and experience necessary to combat the next generation of cyber threats."

The new Cyber Fellowship training will take place over a period of three years, during which time selected attorneys will rotate through multiple department components that protect the nation from cyber threats, such as the Criminal Division, the National Security Division, and the US Attorneys' Offices.

Fellows must be based in the Washington, DC area, and once they are accepted in the program will receive a Top Secret security clearance in order to work many of the several cyber-related investigations.

This includes cases related to state-sponsored cyber threats, transnational criminal groups, infrastructure and ransomware attacks, and cryptocurrency money laundering that has been financing much of the cybercrime ecosystem.

Besides launching a new Cyber Fellowship, the DOJ has also helped set up a new ransomware task force earlier this year to deal with the growing threat from ransomware gangs and has also begun hiring a new Liaison Prosecutor to work with authorities in Eastern Europe to combat the rising wave of organized cybercrime activity.

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Catalin Cimpanu

Catalin Cimpanu

is a cybersecurity reporter who previously worked at ZDNet and Bleeping Computer, where he became a well-known name in the industry for his constant scoops on new vulnerabilities, cyberattacks, and law enforcement actions against hackers.