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WannaCry Hero Hit with More Malware Charges in the US

By Nitish Singh / June 7, 2018

The security researcher who was responsible for preventing the spread of the WannaCry ransomware has been charged with creation and promotion of malware. Federal prosecutors have accused Marcus Hutchins of four charges that include computer fraud, conspiracy, lying to federal officials, and possession, distribution and advertisement of an intercept device known as an UPAS kit.

According to government records, the UPAS kit was created back in 2012 when Hutchins was 18 years old. The malware was sold online and marketed as a tool that could be used to hack into systems without triggering antivirus software installed on users’ PCs. There are multiple records of people buying the kit and using it to attack systems across the globe.

WannaCry

Image Courtesy of BIS

Hutchins was detained last year in August by the FBI, and according to government officials, the security researcher lied about his involvement with the creation of the UPAS kit. Independent journalists have sided with Hutchins claiming that the evidence against the security researcher is ‘strange’ and the ‘chats’ that the government claims to be citing as evidence are simply comments on a blog post where Hutchins explained how to stop malware attacks. The government has made it seem like Hutchins was attempting an attack which brings the credibility of the federal officials to question as the evidence placed against the security researcher hold no solid ground.

The only charge that seems to be true is Hutchins lying to the FBI, to which his defense attorneys claim that he was sleep deprived and intoxicated which led him to not fully understand his legal rights. The rest of the charges have been completely dismissed, and the defense team is willing to highlight the flaws of the prosecution. The defense has pleaded not guilty, and Hutchins claims that the lawsuit has cost him more than $100,000 already as well as solicited funds that have been paid in his name.



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