Marcus Hutchins, also known as MalwareTech, is the 22-year-old security expert who made the headlines after discovering the “kill switch” that halted the outbreak of the WannaCry ransomware. Marcus Hutchins has been arrested in in Las Vegas after attending the Def Con hacking conference and was detained by the FBI in the state of Nevada.
In the last 24 hours, there were no tweets from the account of the expert, and the news of the arrest was confirmed by a friend of the experts to Motherboard.
“Motherboard verified that a detainee called Marcus Hutchins, 23, was being held at the Henderson Detention Center in Nevada early on Thursday. A few hours after, Hutchins was moved to another facility, according to a close personal friend.” reported Motherboard.“The friend told Motherboard they “tried to visit him as soon as the detention centre opened but he had already been transferred out.” Motherboard granted the source anonymity due to privacy concerns.”
“I’ve spoken to the US Marshals again and they say they have no record of Marcus being in the system. At this point we’ve been trying to get in contact with Marcus for 18 hours and nobody knows where he’s been taken,” the person added. “We still don’t know why Marcus has been arrested and now we have no idea where in the US he’s been taken to and we’re extremely concerned for his welfare.”
At the time I was writing there are no precise information about the arrest and its motivation.
Hutchins discovered that registering the domain
it was possible to stop the propagation of the malware.
The Hutchins’s friend Andrew Mabbitt confirmed via Twitter that the expert is detained at FBI’s field office in Las Vegas.
Finally located @MalwareTechBlog, he's in the Las Vegas FBI field office. Can anyone provide legal representation?
— Andrew Mabbitt (@MabbsSec) August 3, 2017
The UK’s National Crime Agency confirmed to The Register that a UK national was arrested in Nevada, but doesn’t provide further information about the charges.
Today another event made the headlines, hackers behind WannaCry cashed out over $140,000 from the Bitcoins wallets used for the payments.
It’s is normal that many experts speculate the two events are correlated.
“On Wednesday, 22-year-old Marcus Hutchins — who runs a security blog called MalwareTech — was arrested in Las Vegas for “his role in creating and distributing the Kronos banking Trojan,” according to a spokesperson from the U.S. Department of Justice.” states the CNN.
“The charges relate to alleged conduct occurring between July 2014 and July 2015.
According to an indictment provided to CNN Tech, Hutchins created the malware and shared it online. The Eastern District of Wisconsin returned a six-count indictment against Hutchins on July 12, 2017. It was unsealed at the time of his arrest.”
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(Security Affairs – WannaCry, Marcus Hutchins)