“The government needs to show intent to further a crime. Merely creating a selling malware, on its own, isn’t enough.”
Orin Kerr –Professor at George Washington University Law School and expert on computer crime
“Marcus Hutchins is a brilliant young man and a hero. He is going to vigorously defend himself against these charges and when the evidence comes to light we are confident that he will be fully vindicated.”
Marcia Hoffman — US lawyer for Marcus Hutchins
A British-based cyber security researcher praised for helping stop a global attack (WannaCry) earlier this year has been arrested — on August 2 2017 — and charged in the United States over an unrelated hacking case know as KRONOS. Marcus Hutchins, 23, appeared in court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and pleaded NOT GUILTY to charges of creating and selling malware. His trial has been scheduled for October 2017. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
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Marcus Hutchins was heralded as a hero for detecting a “kill switch” that effectively prevented the WannaCry cyber-attack from spreading. In May 2017, this virus infected computers in factories, hospitals, shops and schools in over 150 countries. No one knows what the damage would have been if Hutchins had not stopped WannaCry.
But on August 2, Hutchins was detained in Las Vegas. He is accused of involvement with a malware known as Kronos. [This malware stole online banking details and credit card data.] He was granted bail on August 5 (US $30,000).
The 23-year-old from Devon in southwest England was greeted as a hero for apparently helping to stop the WannaCry attack, which caused widespread disruption – including in the UK’s health service.
The charges filed in Wisconsin allege he created and sold Kronos on internet forums. A US District Court accused Hutchins of advertising, distributing and profiting from malware code. A statement from the US Justice Department said his alleged activity took place between July 2014 and July 2015.
The Briton was charged along with an unnamed co-defendant on July 12, but the case remained under seal until Thursday [August 3 2017], a day after his arrest. Hutchins’ detention was first reported by the security website Motherboard. [EuroNews]
Permission to work granted
The Milwaukee court has granted the cyber-security researcher permission to work and use the internet again.
He will not be allowed access to the server he used to stop WannaCry spreading.
He must surrender his passport and will be tracked in the US via GPS during his release.
Mr Hutchins faces six charges relating to the development and distribution Kronos, a well-known piece of malware that gathered financial information from infected computers. [BBC]
UK ‘cyber-hero’ Marcus Hutchins charged in US hacking case
Cyber Hero Marcus Hutchins pleads not guilty in US