Researcher who stopped WannaCry hack arrested in US2017-08-04 10:10 by Daniela
Tags: WannaCry, Cronos
A cyber security researcher who helped to neutralize the global "WannaCry" ransomware attack earlier this year has been arrested for being behind another piece of nasty malware: Kronos. Kronos was a malware program that harvested online banking credentials and credit card data, first discovered in July 2014.
Marcus Hutchins — better known as MalwareTech online — was detained by the FBI in Las Vegas on Wednesday, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said. He was among tens of thousands of hackers who had descended on the city during the annual Black Hat and Def Con conventions.
The indictment asserts that Hutchins created the malware and an unnamed co-conspirator took the lead in selling it. The indictment charges a slew of different crimes for that: (1) conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; (2) three counts of violating 18 U.S.C. 2512, which prohibits selling and advertising wiretapping devices; (3) a count of wiretapping; and (4) a count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act through accomplice liability — basically, aiding and abetting a hacking crime.
In May, WannaCry infected hospitals in the UK, a Spanish telecommunications company, and other targets in Russia, Turkey, Germany, Vietnam, and more. Then the 23-years old Hutchins, inadvertently stopped WannaCry in its tracks by registering a specific website domain included in the malware's code.
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