Hacker who stopped WannaCry gets $30000 bail

US government arrests “WannaCry” saviour

The lawyer for Marcus Hutchins, the cyber expert who thwarted a global ransomware attack, says he denies charges brought against him in the US.

The 23-year-old Briton was detained Thursday at a cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas after a sting operation on accusations he created and sold the Kronos virus, which steals banking details. "The indictment is remarkably shallow even by indictment standards, which is disappointing because it adds considerable uncertainty and fosters distrust with the general security community".

Dan Cowhig, prosecuting, told the federal court Hutchins should not be freed because he is a "danger to the public". According to authorities he created the malware for criminal purposes and tried to sell it on the AlphaBay dark market between the years of 2014-2015 for a price of 3,000 $.

In May a large-scale ransomware attack dubbed WannaCry spread malicious software to about 300,000 computers in 150 countries, where access to data was blocked unless a ransom was paid with bitcoins.

According to media reports, Hutchins may have been unmasked during the AlphaBay investigation. Trisha Young, U.S. Attorney office spokeswomen has said that Hutchins will be appearing in the U.S. district court in Las Vegas on Friday Afternoon.

The arrest of Hutchins showcases one of the most controversial traits of cybersecurity experts: while they are capable of preventing cybersecurity attacks, they are also the same people who are capable of launching them in the first place.

Judge Nancy Koppe dismissed a federal prosecutor's claim that Hutchins was a flight risk, though she did order him to surrender his passport.

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based digital rights group, said Friday that it was "deeply concerned" about Hutchins' arrest and was attempting to help him "obtain good legal counsel".

Hutchins arrest was met with skepticism by the cyber security circles.

Speaking outside court, computer law expert Tor Ekeland said: "This is a very, very problematic prosecution, and I think it's weird that the United States government has chosen to prosecute somebody who's arguably their hero in the WannaCry malware attack, and who's potentially saved lives and thousands, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars over the sale of alleged malware".

Kronos collects usernames, passwords and other banking information on infected computers.

Forno did not foresee the arrest of Hutchins as an issue for security researchers, including those who regularly work to analyze malicious software and programs. Friends and collaborators of Hutchins-known by his online moniker "Malwaretech"-said they found the allegations hard to believe".

Marcus Hutchins was arrested on Wednesday in Las Vegas shortly before boarding a United Kingdom -bound flight.

Hutchins, from Ilfracombe, Devon, gained worldwide attention for detecting a "kill switch" that effectively disabled the WannaCry worm in May.

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