By now you might be aware of Marcus Hutchins, the hero who halted WannaCry ransomware and was arrested by the FBI at Las Vegas airport when he was about to catch a flight back to London, his hometown.
The reason for the arrest was his alleged involvement in developing and distributing Kronos banking malware that stole personal data from users around the world. His surprised arrest shocked the security community who hailed him for his service is saving tens and thousands of people from becoming the target of WannaCry ransomware attack.
Now, even more, shocking facts have surfaced revealing that GCHQ (The Government Communications Headquarters), British intelligence and security agency knew that the FBI would arrest Hutchins anytime he enters the United States.
This is quite a shocker that a government agency would let a man who was hailed as a hero around the world fall for the trap. However, The Sunday Times reported that there had been several cases in the past where UK based hackers allegedly hacked targets in the US but in return, the British authorities denied their extradition. Therefore, Hutchins’s arrest would save the government and intelligence agencies from fighting yet another extradition case
“Our US partners aren’t impressed that some people who they believe to have cases against [them] for computer-related offenses have managed to avoid extradition. Hutchins’s arrest freed the British government and intelligence agencies from yet another headache of an extradition battle,” Sunday Times reported.
In 2012, Theresa May (Home Secretary at that time and currently the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) blocked the extradition of 51-year-old Gary McKinnon, the UFO hacker to the United States since he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a type of autism.
In 2016, Lauri Love, another hacker with Asperger’s Syndrome accused of hacking targets in the United States was extradited where if found guilty he could face 99 years in prison. However, in April this year, he also won the right to appeal against his extradition.
As for Hutchins, he is out on bail where he can travel anywhere in the country with the condition of wearing a GPS monitor. Hutchins is only allowed to use the Internet if makes sure not to access the “KillSwitch” he created to halt the WannaCry ransomware attack.