Featured Image for Hacker credited with thwarting WannaCry attack arrested by the FBI
Web

Hacker credited with thwarting WannaCry attack arrested by the FBI

Marcus Hutchins, the British cyber security researcher who is credited with helping to stop the WannaCry software attack, was arrested on Wednesday.

Hutchins, also known as MalwareTech, was taken into custody by the FBI as he was leaving Las Vegas to return to the U.K.

According to a court document, Hutchins is accused of creating and distributing a malware program.

The malware is called ‘Kronos’ and it is a Trojan virus that is designed to steal banking credentials and other sensitive financial data.

It is alleged that Hutchins and another unnamed defendant conspired to sell Kronos on the dark web.

The crime is said to have begun in July 2014, which is about when MalwareTech publicly asked for a sample of Kronos on Twitter.

Hutchins, a 23-year-old British citizen, was in Las Vegas attending the Black Hat and DefCon cyber security conferences.

The Outline reports that Hutchins had been balling pretty hard before his arrest. In Vegas, he had rented Lambos, considered renting a chopper, gone clubbing a lot and been staying in a $USD 1,900 per night rental home.

Partying and spending cash in Vegas is not unusual, but it does raise a few eyebrows about where the money was coming from.

When Hutchins accidentally found the “kill switch” for WannaCry in May, he was awarded $USD 10,000 by bug bounty platform HackerOne. At the time, he claimed that he would donate that money to charity but maybe he took it to Vegas? It’s also worth noting he has a decent job and lives with his parents. Perhaps he just saved up for a big splurge?

At this point, it is unclear whether or not Hutchins is guilty. Andrew Mabbit, a cyber security researcher and friend of Hutchins, says that he will find Hutchins a lawyer and crowdfund a campaign to pay for it. He believes his friend is innocent.

British security architect Kevin Beaumont also believes that Hutchins is innocent.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

Leave a comment