The computer expert who managed to stop the WannaCry global cyberattack faces 40 years in jail over accusations he helped develop malicious software in 2014.
Marcus Hutchins, a 22-year-old man from England, was arrested at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas last week on charges he helped to create and sell a malware tool that targeted bank accounts.
“Hutchins, who was at a hacking conference in Las Vegas when he was arrested by the FBI, faces six counts of helping to create, spread and maintain the banking trojan Kronos between 2014 and 2015,” reported the Telegraph on Friday. “According to the US Department of Justice indictment, the alleged offenses took place between July 2014 and July 2015. Hutchins was jointly charged with another individual who was not named. The indictment alleged that Hutchins ‘created the Kronos malware’ and the other person later sold it for $2,000 (£1,500) online.”
Hutchins was heralded as a hero after he managed to stop the WannaCry global cyberattack, which took place in May and targeted both private and public organizations, including the United Kingdom’s National Healthcare Service.
“The maximum statutory sentence he could face is decades, roughly 40 years,” claimed cyber criminal lawyer Tor Ekeland. “Would he get that? I doubt it, it would be a bizarre outcome. Is it possible? It sure is.”
“The main thing to do now is enter a not guilty plea as soon as you can, get him out on bail, and then you’ve got some breathing room,” continued Ekeland. “There’s not a single allegation that he made any money or anybody came to any harm from it. The indictment is very thin. It’s legally bizarre and there’s little detail.”