Hacker Who Stopped WannaCry Ransomware Attack, Arrested!

Hacker Who Stopped WannaCry Ransomware Attack, Arrested!

Image Attribute: Marcus Hutchins, cyber security researcher for Kryptos Logic

Image Attribute: Marcus Hutchins, cyber security researcher for Kryptos Logic

On August 3, 2017, Marcus Hutchins, a 23-year-old British-based cyber security researcher widely credited with helping to neutralize the global "WannaCry" ransomware attack earlier this year has been arrested on unrelated hacking charges.

According to U.S. Justice Department, Hutchins was detained by the FBI in Las Vegas on Wednesday, who had gained attention in May 2017 for detecting a "kill switch" that effectively disabled the WannaCry worm.

The arrest was made because on an indictment filed in a U.S. District Court in Wisconsin (includes Milwaukee and Green Bay) which accuses Hutchins, also known online as "MalwareTech," of advertising, distributing and profiting from malware code known as "Kronos" that stole online banking credentials and credit card data. According to the court documents, Hutchins' alleged activity took place between July 2014 and July 2015.

Image Attribute: Vice published his indictment online and made it available on DocumentCloud

Image Attribute: Vice published his indictment online and made it available on DocumentCloud

The indictment alleges two people, Hutchins, who faces six counts related to Kronos and an unnamed individual, between them, created, advertised and sold the Kronos malware.

Hutchins appeared before U.S. Judge Nancy Koppe in Las Vegas on Thursday. Dan Coe, a federal public defender, told the court Hutchins "had cooperated with the government prior to being charged." The hearing was scheduled to continue Friday afternoon to determine whether he will be represented by private legal counsel or a public defender.

Hutchins will appear in a court in Nevada on Friday (today) at 3 p.m. (PT) when he could enter a guilty or not guilty plea, although this might happen at a later date. He may be sent to Wisconsin to face the charges since it is there that they stem from.


KRONOS - The Malware


"Kronos" malware, also known as a banking trojan, once downloaded from email attachments left victims' systems vulnerable to theft of banking and credit card credentials, which could have been used to siphon money from bank accounts. It emerged in 2014 when security researchers first spotted that it was being advertised on Russian forums for $7,000 (£5,300).
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