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UK security expert pleads not guilty to Kronos malware charge

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo)

Marcus Hutchins, the British cybersecurity expert who halted the WannaCry ransomware has plead not guilty to charges of writing and selling malware.

Hutchins was charged in the US with creating and selling Kronos, a malware  strain that was designed to steal consumer banking data.

“Marcus Hutchins is a brilliant young man and a hero,” his attorney Marcia Hofmann said. “He’s going to vigorously defend himself against these charges and when the evidence comes to light, we are confident he will be fully vindicated.”

Hutchins was arrested in Las Vegas after attending the DefCon hacking conference, and faces six counts of hacking-related charges and could be sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Prior to his arrest, Hutchins was made known to the general public after stopping WannaCry, one of the biggest and most devastating ransomware attacks to yet hit the globe.

His friends and family, along with many in the wider cybersecurity community  have rallied behind Hutchins, saying they have no doubt in their mind he's innocent.

A friend of his, who decided to stay anonymous, said: “There’s probably a million difference scenarios that could have played out to where he’s not guilty,” he said. “I’m definitely worried about him.”

Hutchins' backers have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for his defence.

Hutchins' trial is scheduled for October. In the meantime he will need to wear a GPS tracker, but is allowed to access the internet so he can continue working.

Image source: Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.