The announcement covered hackings from 2012 to 2018, but served as yet another warning from the Biden administration of Russia’s ability to conduct such operations.
The task force adds to the raft of actions that Western leaders have taken in recent days in an effort to undercut Vladimir V. Putin and the politically connected elite in Russia.
The moves came a week after the department made its largest financial seizure ever, confiscating over $3.6 billion worth of Bitcoin stolen in a 2016 hacking.
The couple were accused of conspiring to launder Bitcoin that had been stolen in 2016 from Hong Kong-based Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest virtual currency exchanges.
Lisa O. Monaco, the deputy attorney general, told CNN that she could not “say anything more on ongoing investigations.”
The department said it had charged a Russian national in one attack and recovered $6.1 million in ransom. It also arrested a Ukrainian man for another attack.
The Justice Department said the global operation led to the arrests of over 150 people and the seizure of large quantities of opioids and other drugs.
The department said it was reviewing its initial decision to not seek charges against agents who failed to pursue sexual abuse allegations against Lawrence G. Nassar.
John Demers, a Trump appointee who remained in the department, would typically have been briefed on investigations like those involving the secret collection of journalists’ phone records.
Lisa Monaco, a veteran of national security posts, is expected to be a key player in the administration’s push to combat domestic extremism, embodied most publicly in the department’s inquiry into the Capitol attack.
The president’s picks for the department’s No. 2 and 3 spots pledged to restore independence to law enforcement.
Some of the president-elect’s choices for top posts have done work for undisclosed corporate clients and aided a fund that invests in government contractors.
Government exercises, including one last year, made clear that the U.S. was not ready for a pandemic like the coronavirus. But little was done.