Hutchins, also known by his handle MalwareTech, is credited with discovering the “kill switch” for Wannacry. He was however arrested by the FBI for his involvement in another malware which is meant to target bank accounts.
Hutchins is a U.S. citizen who resides in the United Kingdom. The FBI nabbed Him on Thursday in Nevada, where he had gone to attend the DefCon 2017 conference, which ran from July 27th to the 30th in Las Vegas.
The indictment filed by the FBI in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin named another person as Hutchin’s conspirator. However, that person’s name was redacted from the document showed to media.
“…and Marcus Hutchins, aka Malwaretech, knowingly conspired and agreed with each other to commit an offence against the United States, namely to knowingly cause the transmission of a program, information, code, and command and as a result of such intentionally cause the damage, without authorization of 10 or more protected computers during a 1-year period…”
The FBI also alleged that Hutchins of creating in 2014, a trojan malware called Kronos which is targets banks.
According to the document filed in court by the FBI, Hutchin’s collaborator marketed the malware via videos posted on YouTube. Around the time of August 2014, the malware was sold in an online forum for $3,000.
The duo updated the malware in 2015 and even offered encrypting service for Kronos later that year, the FBI said.
Ryan Kalember, a security researcher from another security company Proofpoint, told the Guardian that Kronos “had a nice remote administration, with a dashboard panel, and it was quite good at evading attention by antivirus products.”
He said many researchers believed Kronos was a “crimeware-as-a-service” from a large organization since it offered buyers free updates and support.
Kalember also told the Guardian that there was a possibility that authorities could have made a mistake. He said many security researchers log into crimeware tools and interfaces to “play around.”
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