The U.S. Court Sees Cyber Hero in WannaCry Crisis as Villain


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While authorities were struggling to function as well as possible after WannaCry hackers hit their security systems hard, a 22-year-old enthusiast managed to solve the issue. Marcus Hutchins is a web security researcher from England who was the first to understand how to kill WannaCry operation. However, a U.S. judge in Las Vegas doesn’t see him as a cyber hero. On the contrary, the authority issued a $30,000 bail for the cyber security researcher.

The U.S. Court Trialed the Cyber Hero for Previous Allegations of Malware Distribution

Marcus Hutchins managed to draw the esteem from cyber security community when he solved the WannaCry issue with a simple domain name registration in May. As a result, he became the cyber hero who annulled an extremely powerful ransomware attack.

On the other hand, the U.S. federals share a different view on this character. Hutchins was indicted on July 12.  His case was resumed only last Thursday whereas the previous day he was arrested in Las Vegas. This is where he appeared to join the annual Black Hat and Def Con conventions that have cyber security as the main theme.

According to court documents, the allegations point out that Marcus Hutchins advertised, distributed, and made earnings from malware code dubbed as “Kronos.” His unlawful activity lasted between July 2014 and 2015.

His code lines were able to turn operating systems into vulnerable targets whenever someone downloaded it from email. This means that crucial information such as credit card credentials was exposed to hackers who wanted to extract funds.

The Cyber Security Community Didn’t Receive the News Well

However, the young expert became a hero overnight when he discovered how to kill WannaCry worm. The virus was already spreading through hundreds of thousands of computers back in May. Some of these systems were crucial for both business and governmental operations.

Therefore, the arrest of Hutchins on Wednesday came as a surprise to anyone in the cyber security community. While the profit of the alleged malware would have brought Marcus Hutchins just a couple of thousand dollars, he did save even millions of dollars from hackers.

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Melissa Whitney

We asked our colleague, Melissa Whitney, why she chose Journalism for a profession. She gave us one of the best answers we’ve heard so far: she feels it’s her duty to let future nations know how humanity lived at some point in history. Her articles are, for that matter, incredibly accurate and well-informed, but they do not lack that personal touch that readers need to get to know the writer better.

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