June 25, 2022

Volume XII, Number 176

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June 24, 2022

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June 23, 2022

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Cyberpunk 2022: Calling all Cybersecurity Fraud Whistleblowers

“Cybercrime is one of the defining issues of our time,” said the Assistant Attorney General last October at the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Cybersecurity Roundtable on “The Evolving Cyber Threat Landscape.”

As Russian forces invade Ukraine, on terrain both physical and virtual, state-sponsored cyberattacks are a major threat in a world hyper-dependent on Internet-connected technology.

President Biden’s May 2021 Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity and the DOJ’s Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative may be put to the test in a big way to protect critical infrastructure in 2022.

The False Claims Act is the government’s main weapon to combat cyber fraud. Information security government contractors are submitting false claims to the government if they:

  • Knowingly fail to comply with cybersecurity standards

  • Misrepresent security controls and practices

  • Fail to timely report suspected breaches

As noted in the DOJ’s 2021 summary of False Claims Act Settlements and Judgments, the DOJ “will pursue misrepresentations by companies in connection with the government’s acquisition of information technology, software, cloud-based storage and related services designed to protect highly-sensitive government information from cybersecurity threats and compromises.”

In an increasingly digitally interconnected and interdependent world, being able to trust in service providers’ information security is crucial to the day-to-day functioning of the economy. Whistleblowers can help keep all manner of IT service providers honest. As part of the False Claims Act, a private citizen–or relator–can report fraud against the government and sue on the government’s behalf. If the lawsuit is successful, the whistleblower can receive 15-25% of the government’s recovery.

© 2022 by Tycko & Zavareei LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 67
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About this Author

Jonathan K. Tycko leads the Whistleblower Practice Group of Tycko & Zavareei LLP

In recent years, the laws of the United States have undergone a whistleblower revolution. Federal and state governments now offer substantial monetary awards to individuals who come forward with information about fraud on government programs, tax fraud, securities fraud, and fraud involving the banking industry. Whistleblowers also now have important legal protections, designed to prevent retaliation and blacklisting.

The law firm of Tycko & Zavareei LLP works on the cutting edge of this whistleblower revolution, taking on even the most complex and confidential whistleblower...

202-973-0900
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