‘Pit bull’ Secret Service cyber cop wins public service award

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A Secret Service agent who helped catch the JPMorgan Chase & Co. hackers and is described by colleagues as a “pit bull” was honored this week at the “Sammies” public service awards.

Tate Jarrow, just 33 years old, is a member of the New York Electronic Crimes Task Force, which bring together investigators from different federal agencies to hunt cybercriminals targeting financial institutions.

Tuesday night, he was awarded the the Seymour J. Heyman Call to Service Medal — one of nine honorees at the “Sammies” awards ceremony, sometime referred to as the “Oscars for feds.”

Secret Service colleague Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Pleasant said Jarrow is “very unassuming and very humble, but once you turn him loose, he is a pit bull. He has the ability to step into cases, dig deep and track things down quickly.”

In a statement released by the Partnership for Public Service, which staged the ceremony and handed out the awards, Pleasant said Tate was the lead investigative agent in the JPMorgan case, in which hackers based in Israel stole contact information for 80 million customers of the banking giant, representing the largest single theft of customer data from a U.S. financial institution in history, according to federal prosecutors.

Three individuals were indicted last year for using the stolen data to orchestrate a huge “pump and dump” stock manipulation scheme. They were also charged with running an illegal online casino, money laundering and setting up an illegal digital currency trading operation. The gang earned more than $100 million from their illegal enterprises, according to prosecutors.

Pleasant said Tate worked with company investigators and the FBI “to track down how the system was breached and who was responsible,” calling it “good old-fashioned gumshoe work.”

In a second significant case, Jarrow played a leading role identifying and bringing to justice those responsible for operating a major money-transmitting service used by cybercriminals around the world, known as Liberty Reserve. 

Five defendants have pleaded guilty to criminal charges in that case.

“Tate is one of the preeminent cyber investigators in the federal government,” said Scott Sarafian, a Secret Service assistant to the special agent in charge.

“I am very proud,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

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cybercrime, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Departments, Partnership for Public Service, Sammies, Secret Service
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