Cybersecurity & Tech

The Lawfare Podcast: Alex Iftimie on DOJ’s Recent Cyber Disruption Efforts

Jen Patja Howell, Stephanie Pell, Alex Iftimie
Friday, May 19, 2023, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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Over the past two weeks, the Department of Justice has issued two press releases announcing disruption efforts it has taken against malicious cyber actors. One operation involved the disruption of Russia’s so-called Snake Malware Network, and the other involved the indictment of a Russian national for ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure. 

To talk about these disruption efforts, Lawfare Senior Editor Stephanie Pell sat down with Alex Iftimie, Partner at the law firm Morrison Foerster, and a former federal prosecutor in the National Security and Cyber Crimes Units in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. They talked about the operational details and sophistication of some aspects of these disruption operations, the significance and relationship of these operations to other disruption efforts, and how these recent efforts fit into the broader picture of the DOJ’s and the U.S. government’s efforts to disrupt malicious cyber actors.


Jen Patja Howell is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Stephanie Pell is a Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Editor at Lawfare. Prior to joining Brookings, she was an Associate Professor and Cyber Ethics Fellow at West Point’s Army Cyber Institute, with a joint appointment to the Department of English and Philosophy. Prior to joining West Point’s faculty, Stephanie served as a Majority Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. She was also a federal prosecutor for over fourteen years, working as a Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, as a Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
Alex Iftimie is a former U.S. Department of Justice national security official. He served as counselor to the attorney general, counsel and deputy chief of staff to the assistant attorney general for national security, attorney advisor in the National Security Division, and as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. He is currently a partner and co-chair of the Global Risk + Crisis Management practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP.

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