WannaCry hero gets arrested for developing and selling malware

- Adrian Ungureanu

WannaCry made many victims this year among many companies and organisations around the world. One man played a crucial part in stopping the ransomware that terrified out of many organisations. His name: Marcus Hutchins.

Referred as the “WannaCry hero”, Hutchins proved to be just a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”! He got arrested last week, shortly after attending Def Con, the world largest hacking convention. No explanation was given. But now we got the reason for his detainment.

Has been officially charged with creating another malware designed for stealing information from banking websites, as revealed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

The federal grand jury signed a six-count indictment against the digital security researcher that currently works for Kryptos Logic and is also known by his online handle “Malwaretech.”

The Kronos trojan started circulating the Internet circa 2014, infecting computers and stealing usernames and passwords of banking websites in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, and a number of other countries.

Hutchins wasn’t accused of being the initial creator of the malware but is facing charges for updating and disseminating it, according to the DOJ’s press release on the matter.

The trojan was reportedly being sold for up to $7,000 on the Russian black market and a strain of it designed to infect point-of-sale terminals emerged online following the spread of the initial version of the malicious software.

Hutchins is alleged to have been working on Kronos together with another individual, according to the DOJ. His supposed partner is currently unnamed.

The defendant is now held in the FBI’s Las Vegas office and was reportedly without a representative shortly after his arrest. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is currently trying to get in touch with Hutchins, presumably in an effort to provide him with legal representation.

The U.K. National Crime Agency is aware of the situation but isn’t planning to intervene in any capacity, Forbes reported last week.