Cybersecurity Researcher Hailed as Hero Is Accused of Creating Malware

Cybersecurity Researcher Hailed as Hero Is Accused of Creating Malware

Marcus Hutchins, a young British researcher credited with derailing a global cyberattack in May, was arrested for allegedly creating and distributing malicious software designed to collect bank-account passwords, USA authorities have said.

The FBI has arrested Marcus Hutchins, the 23-year-old security expert who saved the NHS from cyber criminals earlier this year.

According to a report in Los Angels Times, Hutchins is described as "having created, maintained and marketed the Kronos banking Trojan from July 2014 to July 2015".

Hutchins has been working with the GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre since he came to prominence after the WannaCry episode.

According to an indictment released by the USA department of justice on Thursday, Hutchins is accused of having helped to create, spread and maintain the banking malware Kronos between 2014 and 2015.

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.

A YOUNG British IT expert hailed a hero for stopping a cyber-attack that crippled the NHS has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A friend, Andrew Mabbitt, confirmed later on Twitter that Mr Hutchins was being held in the Las Vegas FBI field office.

Kronos, which steals banking logins from users, was largely marketed and distributed through a dark web site hosted on Tor called AlphaBay, and the DoJ announced on 20 July that the United States and other countries had successfully shut it down.

"The government needs to show intent to further a crime", said Orin Kerr, a professor at George Washington University Law School and expert on computer crime.

It was not immediately clear when Mr Hutchins had been detained. It demanded victims pay a $300 ransom using bitcoin, which allows the public transfer of money but keeps its users totally anonymous. WannaCry hit 1 million computers, but without Hutchins the damage could have spread to 10-15 million.

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