SAN FRANCISCO/LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – A cyber security researcher widely credited with helping to neutralize the global “WannaCry” ransomware attack earlier this year has been arrested on unrelated hacking charges, according to court documents unsealed on Thursday – Security Researcher Stopped WannaCry arrested.
The ransomware impacted computers in more than 150 countries around the world and demanded those with infected machines should pay $300 in Bitcoin to get their files unlocked.
Marcus Hutchins, a 23-year-old British-based malware researcher who gained attention in May for detecting a “kill switch” that effectively disabled the WannaCry worm, 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.
An indictment filed in a U.S. District Court in Wisconsin accused Hutchins, also known online as “MalwareTech,” of advertising, distributing and profiting from malware code known as “Kronos” that stole online banking credentials and credit card data. Hutchins’ alleged activity took place between July 2014 and July 2015, according to the indictment.
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