WannaCry Hacker Arrested

Marcus Hutchins a British Cyber-Security researcher will appear in court in Vegas, whilst attending the Black Hat and Def Con cyber security conferences, charged with his involvement with Kronos – malware which steals banking logins from infected computers.

Hutchins stopped the WannaCry Cyber-Attack which hit the NHS in May and the FBI arrested him on Wednesday, with the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre were surprised at his arrest.

The US Department of Justice released a statement on his arrest stating that:

“Marcus Hutchins… a citizen and resident of the United Kingdom, was arrested in the United States on 2 August, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, after a grand jury in the Eastern District of Wisconsin returned a six-count indictment against Hutchins for his role in creating and distributing the Kronos banking Trojan….The charges against Hutchins, and for which he was arrested, relate to alleged conduct that occurred between in or around July 2014 and July 2015.”

It is alleged that Hitchins created and sold Kronos on the dark web, Jane Hutchins, Marcus’ mother said that it was ‘highly unlikely’ that her son was involved saying that he spent his time preventing attacks from occurring. With those who work with Hutchins coming to the defence feeling that the US justice system have made a “huge mistake” Digital rights groups have said they are “deeply concerned” by his arrest.

Cyber-attorney Tor Ekeland has said that Mr Hutchins could face “40 years in jail” if found guilty, even though the case states no victims. But is worried about the outcome of this case for legitimate programmes, speaking on Radio 4’s Today:

“I can think of a number of examples of legitimate software that would potentially be a felony under this theory of prosecution.”

Hutchins has been granted £23,000 bail and at the time of writing it is unknown if he was able to pay this. He left court unshackled but ordered to leave his hands behind his back.

His defence lawyer Ms Lobo told the BBC that he has pled not guilty and the federal indictment against him is “pretty flimsy, pretty slim compared to what we normally see in a US indictment”

It is claimed that he software was sold for $2,000 in digital currency in June 2015 and Dan Cowhig, prosecuting, told court room that Hutchins confessed during a police interview that he was the “author of Kronos malware and indicated that he sold it”

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