Marcus Hutchins. (Photo Courtesy)
Marcus Hutchins. (Photo Courtesy)

A US judge in Las Vegas set a USD$30,000 (approx. 108.5 million UGX) bail last weekend for a well-known British cyber-security researcher accused of advertising and selling malicious code used to pilfer banking and credit card information.

Marcus Hutchins, 23, gained celebrity status within the hacker community in May when he was credited with neutralising the global WannaCry ransomware attack.

His attorney, Adrian Lobo, told reporters Hutchins would not be released on Friday because the clerk’s office for the court closed 30 minutes after his hearing concluded, leaving his defence team not enough time to post the bail.

Judge Nancy Koppe dismissed a federal prosecutor’s claim that Hutchins was a flight risk, though she did order him to surrender his passport. If released, Hutchins would be barred from computer use or Internet access.

Hutchins allegedly advertised, distributed and profited from malware code known as “Kronos” between July 2014 and 2015, according to the indictment. If downloaded from email attachments, Kronos left victims’ systems vulnerable to theft of banking and credit card credentials, which could have been used to siphon money from bank accounts.

He achieved overnight fame in May when he was credited with detecting a “kill switch” that effectively disabled the WannaCry worm, which infected hundreds of thousands of computers in May and caused disruptions at car factories, hospitals, shops and schools in more than 150 countries.

Hutchins was “doing well, considering what’s gone on,” Lobo, told reporters. She said Hutchins never expected to be in his current situation and that she did not know the identity of his co-defendant.

News of Hutchins’ arrest on Wednesday shocked other researchers, many of whom rallied to his defence and said they did not believe he had ever engaged in cyber crime.

source: Gadgets 360