Marcus Hutchins is the 23-year-old who stormed to fame and was hailed an accidental hero over two months ago when stopped the global WannaCry ransomware attack by finding a kill switch in the malware code. It hasn’t been a great week for Marcus; after attending Def Con (The world’s largest annual convention for internet hackers in Vegas) last week, he was arrested at the McCarran International Airport before he could board his flight back home to the U.K.
He was arrested for his alleged role in creating and distributing something called the 'Kronos Banking Trojan' in 2014. Kronos is designed to steal banking credentials and personal information from victims’ computers and was sold for $7,000 on Russian online forums.
The judge at the Las Vegas court ruled that Marcus could be released on $30,000 bail, saying the defendant wasn't a danger to the community nor a flight risk, although the judge did order him to remain in the U.S. with GPS monitoring.
The cool thing about this story is that the bail was posted, but not by Marcus but by thousands of global supporters in the tech community.
$30,000 in Bail Were Posted by the Global Tech Community
He has pleaded not guilty to charges and his attorney stated that "He has dedicated his life to researching malware, not to try to harm people.’ - and I’m sure that anyone familiar with his work would agree
If Found Guilty, Marcus Could Face 40 Years In US Prison
His supporters believe that he is innocent and claim a tweet from July 2014 could prove that he could not have written the malware. In the tweet, Marcus who goes by the alias “MalwareTech’ on Twitter was himself asking for a Kronos sample.
People like Marcus are integral to the tech community and to the cyber security world. Its absolutely ridiculous that the only person being prosecuted in the one who helped shut down a global attack - a cyber nuclear attack. Ransomware attacks will happen again and we need Marcus behind his computer and not behind bars. Mic Drop.
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