- Paul Szoldra/Business Insider
The security researcher who managed to stop the devastating WannaCry cyberattack has been arrested for allegedly creating a different malware back in 2014, according to reports from Motherboard and CNN.
Marcus Hutchins, who goes by the online handle MalwareTechBlog, was visiting the Def Con security conference in Las Vegas before being detained.
A U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson told CNN that the investigation into Hutchins and arrest concerns “his role in creating and distributing the Kronos banking Trojan,” referencing the famous malware that infected computers, allowing for personal information and banking credentials to be stolen.
A federal indictment names Hutchins and an additional, unnamed co-defendant.
While Hutchins has been accused of creating the Kronos banking trojan malware, some have begun to question whether he was simply researching the malware.
You can read the full indictment here:
Here is the indictment, alleging MalwareTech helped create and distribute the Kronos banking trojan https://t.co/Eolwk2uYrZ
— Joseph Cox (@josephfcox) August 3, 2017
Twitter user Andrew MAbbitt wrote that he “can confirm @MalwareTechBlog was detained yesterday and FBI/US Marshalls won’t tell me where he is … I’m working on getting a lawyer for @MalwareTechBlog as he has no legal representation and no visitors. I’ll be crowdfunding legal fees soon.”
I'm working on getting a lawyer for @MalwareTechBlog as he has no legal representation and no visitors. I'll be crowdfunding legal fees soon
— Andrew Mabbitt (@MabbsSec) August 3, 2017
The WannaCry attack infected computers in more than 150 companies, crippling hospitals and telecoms firms, before Hutchins stumbled across a kill switch while investigating it. He has been hailed as a hero for stopping the malware, which infected the UK NHS (National Health Service), Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica, and logistics company FedEx, among other companies.