A Look Inside the Justice Department’s National Security Priorities

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Last week, the Justice Department brought an indictment against two individuals accused of working with China’s Ministry of State Security to conduct a decade-long cyber intrusion campaign. The Justice Department says the two individuals were targeting the private sector some of which included research institutions working on coronavirus treatments.  But there is another side to this story. DOJ says the suspects were also using their criminal expertise to conduct side operations for personal gain as the MSS looked the other way. If true, this marks a significant change in Chinese tactics when it comes to separating nation state activities from cybercrime. 

The Cipher Brief spoke last week with Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers about what the shift in strategy means and about his other top national security priorities going into November’s presidential election.

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