FBI arrests WannaCry hero for alleged role in Kronos banking malware

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A malware researcher hailed as a hero earlier this year has been arrested by the FBI for his alleged role in distributing the banking malware known as Kronos. Marcus Hutchins, also known as @malwaretechblog, was detained and then arrested by the bureau at the airport as he was leaving the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas.

Hutchins, 22, played a pivotal and unlikely role in stopping the spread of malware known as WannaCry when he discovered a functional domain kill switch for WannaCry. Now he is accused of playing a role in malware that stole banking and credit card credentials beginning in 2014. CNN first reported that Hutchins was arrested and Vice quickly published his indictment online and made it available on DocumentCloud.

Hutchins’ status as a cyber folk hero had much of the security community rushing to his defense as reports emerged that he was intercepted on his way home to London. Many questions remain about the nature of the charges and his role in the creation and distribution of the Kronos banking trojan remains unclear at this time. His arraignment is this afternoon in Las Vegas at 3 p.m. PT.

Featured Image: Bryce Durbin