March 21 2018

Researcher who stopped 'WannaCry' attack arrested in United States for hacking

March 21 2018, 12:30 | Jodi Jackson

Researcher who stopped 'WannaCry' attack arrested in United States for hacking

Researcher who stopped 'WannaCry' attack arrested in United States for hacking

The crime of which Hutchins is accused allegedly occurred between 2014 and 2015 - two to three years or so before he intervened in the so-called WannaCry attack. The malicious software, or malware, was created to garner usernames and passwords of users on banking websites. Hutchins was in the U.S. for the Black Hat and Defcon security conferences, although he did not present any research.

After his arrest, Hutchins was transferred to a federal holding facility in Nevada and is now being held at the FBI's field office in Las Vegas.

Hutchins became an overnight hero in May after disabling the WannaCry worm, which infiltrated software in hundreds of thousands of computers in hospitals, schools, factories and shops in more than 150 countries.

According to USA authorities, Hutchins was indicted by a grand jury for allegedly creating and distributing a malicious software, Kronos, which was designed to steal internet banking details and passwords.

Marcus Hutchins, known under the name of "Malwaretech" was arrested Wednesday in Las Vegas where they attended the great gathering of hackers Def Con, said the u.s. department of Justice. A friend of Hutchins told the publication that he was moved to another unknown location sometime on August 3.

Mr Hutchins, who lives with his parents in Ilfracombe, Devon, was widely praised in May after explaining that he had stumbled on a "kill switch" for WannaCry.

The security researcher found a domain listed within the code of WannaCry that, when registered, would stop the software from spreading.

Hutchins has been hailed a hero among cybersecurity professionals for having minimized, albeit accidentally, the impact of WannaCry ransomware on United States organizations after it swept across organizations Europe, creating havoc for the UK's NHS.

"We still don't know why Marcus has been arrested", the friend, who was granted anonymity, told Motherboard.

Mr Mabbitt did not respond to a request for further comment.

Other news