British man known as ‘MalwareTech’ faces US court.
The hero who stopped the WannaCry ransomware epidemic dead in its tracks back in May, has pled not guilty to being responsible for selling the banking trojan Kronos, which was designed to steal people’s online banking details.
The 23-year-old security researcher who found himself ‘famous’ after ‘accidentally’ halting the WannaCry virus by simply registering a website, was arrested earlier this month after attending the ‘Defcon’ conference in Los Angeles, and charged with creating and selling the initial software that would later form the basis of the Kronos banking malware.
The WannaCry ransomware attack crippled businesses and institutions around the world, including the British National Health Service, one of the world’s single largest employers. After being feted by security experts worldwide for halting the spread of WannaCry, Hutchins was given a $10,000 reward by HackerOne for his role in stopping WannaCry. He donated the sum to charity.
Yes to internet; no to passport
The LA court took the unusual step during the hearing of relaxing the 23-year-old’s bail terms, giving him free access to the internet so he will be able to return to work. He will also be able to live in Los Angeles, where his employer is based. The UK native has however had to surrender his passport and so will have to remain in the US until his court case in October. He also has been ordered to wear a tracking device until the trial begins.
Hutchins is normally better known by his online nickname MalwareTech, and has been accused by the US Government of writing software in 2014 that would later become the banking malware Kronos. Friends and supporters have set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for legal fees.
“Marcus Hutchins is a brilliant young man and a hero,” said his attorney Marcia Hofmann said after Hutchins initial hearing. “He’s going to vigorously defend himself against these charges and when the evidence comes to light, we are confident he will be fully vindicated.”