September 06, 2017
Time sure has changed for Marcus Hutchins aka Malware Tech, who has gone from cyber hero to cyber criminal in a matter of months. This has shaken the entire tech community when the FBI arrested British security researcher Marcus Hutchins after he left Def Con.
Hutchins, a researcher and cybersecurity specialists from London was arrested on August 2 for alleged ties with banking Trojan Kronos which is attributed to stealing credentials of thousands of bank accounts. It was made clear later that Hutchins was caught for creating, advertising and selling the Trojan Kronos.
Hutchins, who was dubbed as the ‘Wannacry Hero’ earlier this year for finding the kill switch for the Wannacry ransomware, plead not guilty for all the charges. The bail was set for $30,000 (no small amount under any circumstances), and yet Hutchins had to spend the weekend in jail as there wasn’t enough time to pay the bail before the clerk’s office closed on Friday.
The US government claims that Hutchins created, advertised, distributed and profited from the Kronos malware between July 2014 and 2015. Another defendant was also named in the prosecution, but his name was redacted. The other defendant alleged that he advertised Kronos for sale on the dark net marketplace AlphaBay and tried to sell it for $3000.
After his release on Monday, Hutchins will have to remain in the US with continuous GPS monitoring and then proceed to Wisconsin where he faces a six-count federal indictment that alleges he created and sold Kronos. And during the mean time he will not be allowed to use a computer or access the internet.