Published: Wed, August 16, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

WannaCry vanquisher Marcus Hutchins pleads not guilty to flogging banking trojan Kronos

WannaCry vanquisher Marcus Hutchins pleads not guilty to flogging banking trojan Kronos

"I'm still on trial, still not allowed to go home, still on house arrest; but now i am allowed online", he wrote.

Marcus Hutchins, 23, appeared in court in Wisconsin after being charged with writing and selling the code used in the so-called Kronos attack.

Hutchins can also now travel around the United States and live in Los Angeles - so he can be near his legal team ahead of his trial, which has been set to begin on October 23.

Hutchins, of Ilfracombe, was widely celebrated for finding a "kill-switch" that curbed the WannaCry ransomware that infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries and crippled the NHS in May. The name of Hutchins's co-defendant is redacted from the indictment.

Hutchins' lawyer, Marcia Hoffman, told reporters including the BBC outside the courtroom that the Devonian is "a brilliant young man and a hero". In the meantime he will need to wear a Global Positioning System tracker, but is allowed to access the internet so he can continue working. However, a couple of months later, he was embroiled in a major controversy when the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested him on six counts of unrelated hacking charges after the Defcon conference in Las Vegas in the last week of July. Hutchins was subsequently released on a $30,000 bond and formally entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in an August 14 hearing. Mr. Hutchins is restricted from accessing the server he utilized when he stopped WannaCry from causing more damage. Under his agreement with the prosecutor, he will be able to travel to Los Angeles to continue working as a security researcher for the time being. That's not the same as admitting being the author of the Kronos banking malware. He pleaded not guilty to all six charges against him, which relate to the creation and sale of Kronos, a specific banking malware.

The government agreed to the request, calling the case against Hutchins a historical one and acknowledging his work requires such access. The charges carry a maximum fine of $250,000 and maximum prison charges of 5 to ten years.

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