August 4, 2017 by

Researcher who found the Wannacry ‘Kill-Switch’ was arrested by FBI

Researcher who found the ‘Kill-Switch’ for Wannacry Ransomware was arrested by FBI. Marcus Hutchins, a 22-year-old British security researcher who gained worldwide fame for stopping the spread of the WannaCry Ransomware was arrested Wednesday in Nevada.  Hutchins who goes by the pseudo MalwareTech was arrested after attending the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas by the FBI at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport. 

Allegedly, Hutchins was arrested for creating the Kronos banking malware.  First discovered in July of 2014, the malware has the ability to steal banking details, Pin numbers, and credit card numbers. According, to the eight-page indictment, he has been accusing of  “creating and distributing the Kronos banking trojan.” 

Kronos was advertised on internet forums, including the AlphaBay dark web market, a forum that was just recently shut by law enforcement agencies.

Hutchins used YouTube as a platform to advertise and promote the features of the Kronos banking malware he had created. He posted the video on July 13, 2014, however, the original video was taken down. The same day he uploaded the video, Hutchins tweeted about Kronos saying, “Anyone got a kronos sample?”.

According to a federal indictment and corresponding Department of Justice press release, Hutchins has been charged with a six counts indictment after a two-year investigation. The indictment charges include:

“One count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, three counts of distributing and advertising an electronic communication interception device, one count of endeavoring to intercept electronic communications, and one count of attempting to access a computer without authorization.” 

The security community is in shock and surprise after the arrest of Hutchines. Some saying, Hutchins could strain the relationship between white hat hackers.

 

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LIFARS is a digital forensics and cybersecurity intelligence firm based in New York City. LIFARS is ranked as one of the top Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigations companies in 2016 and as one of the top cybersecurity companies in the New York metropolitan area for 2015 on the Cybersecurity 500 – a directory of the hottest and most innovative companies to watch in the cybersecurity industry.

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