Marcus Hutchins, also known as MalwareTech, made the headlines after discovering the “kill switch” that halted the outbreak of the WannaCryransomware. In August 2017, he was arrested in Las Vegas after attending the Def Con hacking conference and was detained by the FBI in the state of Nevada.
In August 2017, Marcus Hutchins pleaded not guilty to charges of creating and selling malware at a hearing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The court decided to relax the expert bail terms, allowing him to access the Internet and continues his ordinary working activities. The only restriction on Hutchins is that the expert cannot visit the Wannacry server domain.
The decision is unusual because computer crime suspects are not allowed to stay online.
The court allowed him to live in Los Angeles, where the company that hired him is located, but he was obliged to surrender his passport and he must wear a tracking device until his trial in October.
On Friday, Hutchins accepted a plea deal and admitted two charges of malware development.
“I’ve pleaded guilty to two charges related to writing malware in the years prior to my career in security,” reads a statement published by the expert.
“I regret these actions and accept full responsibility for my mistakes. Having grown up, I’ve since been using the same skills that I misused several years ago for constructive purposes. I will continue to devote my time to keeping people safe from malware attacks.”
Marcus Hutchins would face with a maximum penalty of five years in prison a $250,000 fine and a year of probation.
According to the Federal law enforcement, the researchers told an unnamed associate over a recorded telephone line: “I used to write malware, they picked me up on some old shit,” “I wrote code for a guy a while back who then incorporated it into a banking malware.”
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.