At the end of last week, we learned that the 23 year old security researcher responsible for halting WannaCry had been arrested by the FBI, with the feds claiming that he wrote and sold a piece of banking malware on the dark web. Since then, some new details surrounding the case have come to light. Firstly, Hutchins can get out on bail with a $30,000 bond but beyond that he plans on pleading not guilty to the charges presented.
Once news of the arrest hit the web, a good chunk of the cyber security community rallied around Hutchins, believing him to be an ethical hacker, rather than the sort of person to create, distribute and sell malware on the dark web. During the first hearing, the federal prosecution tried to paint Hutchins as a danger to society in an effort to convince the judge to deny him bail but the defence successfully argued that this was not the case. At this time, Andrew Mabbit, one of the people publicly defending Hutchins, has managed to secure him proper legal representation with the hope that some crowd funding will help cover the bill.
Andrew Mabbit and Hutchins’ lawyer are expecting to bail him out at some point today. From there, he is expected to please not guilty to six cybercrime charges, including the creation, advertising and selling of malware.
Right now there is some conflicting information surrounding whether or not Hutchins admitted to writing the code for Kronos, the piece of malware he is being accused of selling. According to a report from the Telegraph, he did admit to creating the code during a police interview. The report also states that Hutchins was arrested as part of a sting operation, during which undercover officers claim to have paid Hutchins and an unnamed co-defendant for the code. The prosecution also has evidence of chat logs between the two defendants.
KitGuru Says: There’s a lot of new information coming out about this case now but it is unlikely we will hear all of the major details until arguments from both sides are presented in court. We will keep following this story for updates.