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Secret Service, FBI Highlight Collaboration and Investigative Successes of 2021

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Published By
U.S. Secret Service Media Relations
Published Date

Washington, D.C. – Throughout Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) highlight a year of noteworthy collaboration to investigate cybercrime and remind the public to do their part to stay cyber secure.

“Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an opportunity for the American public to refresh their efforts, in all aspects of their life, to remain resilient against the threat of cybercrime,” said U.S. Secret Service Office of Investigations Assistant Director Jeremy Sheridan. “Every day, the Secret Service works in lock step with the FBI to bring criminals attempting to hide in cyberspace to justice, but our biggest partner in this fight is the individual at home or work ensuring their personal information and their organization’s data are diligently protected.”

“Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a unique opportunity to reengage the American people and our joint efforts to combat the cyber threat,” said FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director Bryan Vorndran. “The FBI alongside the Secret Service will continue to share information for awareness in an effort to ensure the American public is best protected from the advances of these criminal actors. We will continue to pursue these malicious cyber actors and ensure that we impose risk and consequence on malicious cyber actors.”

The investigative collaboration and close partnership between the Secret Service and the FBI has yielded significant and noteworthy results throughout 2021.

Most recently, an international cybercriminal was sentenced to more than 11 years for laundering millions through cybercrime schemes. This case, investigated by the Secret Service, ultimately resulted in connecting this money launderer to an ongoing FBI investigation into another transnational money launderer, and the subsequent indictment of three North Korean military hackers for cyberattacks and financial crimes across the globe.

A case that began in 2016 as a wire fraud and identity theft investigation out of Dallas resulted in a guilty plea in August 2021. Targeting an estimated $790 million, the loss suffered by U.S. victims from this scheme is estimated at nearly $170 million. Sentencing is anticipated in early 2022.

The success of these and other investigations is due to continued partnerships with federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, the private sector and academia through the Secret Service’s network of Cyber Fraud Task Forces.

The Secret Service and the FBI also work together to educate and train stakeholders on response and mitigation strategies. The rise in attacks against managed service providers (MSPs), whereby infecting one system gives unauthorized access to the networks of hundreds of potential victims, presented a unique opportunity to bring greater awareness and provide specific training to prevent this method of compromise. In September, the Secret Service and FBI hosted a Cyber Incident Response Simulation for companies that use MSPs, and delivered a unified federal message on the importance of hardening systems and engaging with law enforcement before an attack occurs. 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice each play a critical role in investigating malicious cyber activity and strengthening cyber resilience across the country.  Earlier this year, Secretary Mayorkas launched a DHS-wide ransomware initiative to elevate the Department’s efforts to combat this criminal activity.

The Secret Service develops resources for individuals and organizations to remain up-to-date and avoid becoming victims of cybercrime. To learn more about these cybersecurity best practices, visit the Secret Service’s Preparing for a Cyber Incident and Don't Be a Victim of Coronavirus-related Scams webpages.