Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) on Tuesday announced the launch of a bipartisan investigation into the recent string of debilitating ransomware attacks against U.S. companies.

The investigation will examine how cryptocurrencies are used in ransomware attacks to exploit victims. Ransoms are often demanded in the form of cryptocurrency, which is harder to trace.

“The increased use of cryptocurrencies as the preferred method of payment in ransomware attacks shows that cybercriminals believe they can commit attacks without being held accountable,” Peters said in a statement Tuesday. “These attacks can have a devastating effect on Americans’ lives and livelihoods, and we must do everything we can to deter them – including understanding what additional regulations, actions and reforms are needed to adequately tackle complicated cybersecurity threats.”