Hacker Who Turned Off WannaCry Arrested By FBI For Allegedly Running Kronos Banking Trojan

By Aaron Kesel

A hacker known online by his alias “malwaretechblog,” Marcus Hutchins, 22, who was able to infamously turn off the WannaCry ransom virus which encrypted its victims’ computers, has been arrested after DEF CON by the FBI for allegedly “masterminding” Kronos, a “banking trojan,” and charged on 6 counts according to a court indictment document.

The indictment states that British citizen, Hutchins, “knowingly conspired and agreed” with another redacted individual to “cause the transmission of a program, information, code, and command and as a result of such conduct, intentionally cause damage to 10 or more protected computers.”

Hutchins was further accused of “advertising Kronos” and selling it on AlphaBay, the now shut-down darknet market that President Donald Trump issued to be shut down according to a DOJ press release.

[RELATED: Donald Trump Orders DOJ To Takedown Darknet Markets]

The FBI alleges that Hutchins uploaded a video demonstrating the functionality of Kronos on July, 13th, 2014 and then in August 2014 offered to sell it for “$3,000.”

Support has already grown online calling for the release of Marcus Hutchins with the hashtag #FreeMarcusHutchins started by OpStandUpToCFAA and AaronsLaw2017.

CFAA is a controversial draconian computer crime law that can be twisted to whatever way the prosecutors see fit.

Even first-time offenses for accessing a protected computer without sufficient “authorization” can be punishable by up to five years in prison each (ten years for repeat offenses), plus fines. Violations of other parts of the CFAA are punishable by up to ten years, 20 years, and even life in prison – more years than any other federal conviction including rape and murder.

The EFF has called to reform the infamously problematic Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA.)

“Creative prosecutors have taken advantage of this confusion to bring criminal charges that aren’t really about hacking a computer, but instead target other behavior prosecutors dislike,” EFF wrote.

That proposal became known as Aaron’s Law if you want to find out more about Aaron’s law you can visit the Twitter account AaronsLaw2017.

Hutchins was able to stop the WannaCry ransomware by registering a domain he found in the source code for its kill switch The Hacker News reported.

Arrest indictment below:

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post and is Director of Content for Coinivore. Follow him at Twitter and Steemit. This article is Creative Commons and can be republished in full with attribution.

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5 Comments on "Hacker Who Turned Off WannaCry Arrested By FBI For Allegedly Running Kronos Banking Trojan"

  1. ⚖️ Aaron's Law ? | August 3, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Reply

    Great piece my friend! Thank you for the S/O and quality journalism <3

  2. He turns off ransomware and the FBI charge him but don’t attempt to find the perpetrators of the ransomware.
    Someone has their priorities skewed or we are only being told a small bit of the story.

    • Maybe it was the FBI’s toy that he found a solution to and very upset about that so they find some form of retaliation.
      Just like they went after Kim Dot Com.

  3. uncle bobedy | August 4, 2017 at 4:53 am | Reply

    Silly rabbit, don’t you know that only the government, the American govt is the only ones allowed to have an all seeing edge on the computer crimes racket?! His name was Robert Paulson (Marcus Hutchins).

  4. FBI overstepping the bounds of reason:

    “Mistaken accusation?

    Most of the activities related to the Kronos malware appear to be
    solely attributed to Hutchins’ co-defendant; Hutchins himself is accused
    only of developing and updating the malware.

    On his blog,
    Hutchins said that he did indeed create simple malware for research
    purposes, and released some of the code. Such activity is not unusual
    for legitimate malware researchers.

    On his YouTube page, Hutchins demonstrated how several kinds of malware operated; again, that is not unusual.

    It is possible that something that Hutchins coded made its way into
    legitimate malware, without his participation or knowledge. It could
    also be that an online criminal with a grudge may be falsely accusing
    Hutchins of similar activities.

    “My reading of the indictment is that @MalwareTechBlog wrote some code, but everything else was done by the other guy,” tweeted Rob Graham”

    https://www.tomsguide.com/us/hutchins-arrest-wannacry,news-25597.html

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