Who is Marcus Hutchins, the man who saved world from WannaCry cyber attack but now under FBI arrest

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Published: August 4, 2017 5:24:23 PM

Marcus Hutchins might not be a very popular name. But he is the hero who saved the entire world from falling into chaos when the infamous WannaCry ransomware attacked computers in several countries.

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Marcus Hutchins might not be a very popular name. But he is the hero who saved the entire world from falling into chaos when the infamous WannaCry ransomware attacked computers in several countries. Hutchins, who found a “kill switch” against the deadly cyber attack, has now been arrested by the FBI. Interestingly, he has been accused of making and spreading a malware called as Kronos, which reportedly has been used to hack bank websites. This is an interesting turn of events since Hutchins was known to have stopped a malware which had spread to over 3 lakh computers. This malware was one of the deadliest and biggest cyber attacks in history, espcially because it held companies and organisations to ransom over data.

Who is Marcus Hutchins? Hutchins blogs under the handle “MalwareTech”. He has a Twitter account by that name too. But before the WannaCry cyber attack, nobody knew his name. However, he got popular later and gave media interviews. He lives in the UK and works with security firm Kryptos Logic. The rise of fame happend to Hutchins in May 2017 when he had helped in stopping the WannaCry cyber attack. The attack had basically affected many international centres, the biggest being the National Health Services (NHS) in United Kingdom, FedEx, Nissan etc. The impact had spread to many governments across the world. Even India was affected by the ransomware attack. The hackers behind the attack basically asked peole for bitcoins in exchange for personal data. People and organisations got locked out of their PCs, and were not able to retrieve important info.

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How did her find a kill switch for WannaCry cyberattack? Hutchins could stop the cyber attack by registering for an Internet domain. This was used to act as a ‘kill switch’ for the dangerous ransomware. The secret of domain was hid behind somwhere in the program of the ransomware and when the domain was finally bought by Hutchins the attck ended.

Why was Hutchins arrested? Hutchins reported finished attending the Black Hate and Def Con hacker conference in Las Vegas, when he was arrested. According to the FBI, Hutchins created the Kronos Malware which was used to hack banking systems in Canada and Europe. The indictment papers put Hutchins as a co-accused in the case, but the other person’s name has been redacted from the document.

“I am not hero” says Marcus Hutchins: Watch video


The indictment accuses Hutchins of “knowingly” conspiring with this other person to commit an offense against the United States, and says the hacker created the Kronos Malware and that in February 2015, he also updated the malware.

So did others react to the Hutchins arrest? A Guardian’s report said that Hutchins’ was inconvinced that her son was involved in this case. She was in fact “outraged” over the arrest. Meanwhile, Electronic Frontier Foudation, a legal advocacy group told Bloomberg that they were trying to reach Hutchins to help him out. Bloomberg cited Jeanne Carstensen, a spokeswoman for the group, as saying, “The EFF is deeply concerned about the arrest of Marcus Hutchins.”

It is to be noted that WannaCry and Kronos are totally different malwares and affected areas at different points in time.

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