He is not allowed to access the “Kill Switch” he created to stop WannaCry ransomware from spreading.
23-year-old Marcus Hutchins known for protecting thousands of users and business from WannaCry ransomware infection has pleaded not guilty over the accusation blaming him for his role in developing and distributing Kronos banking malware between 2014 and 2015 that targeted users around the world including the United States.
Those who are not familiar with the issue, Hutchins was visiting the States to attend the BlackHat and DefCon hacking conference in Las Vegas. On the day of his departure back to London, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested him and accused him of developing the Kronos malware.
However, Hutchins’s attorney Adrian Lobo rubbished all charges and told media that her client had got the bail for $30,000 on conditions that he will not access the Internet, he will not leave the country and must use a GPS monitor. Lobo also stated that Hutchins would plead not guilty.
If found guilty, Hutchins can face a 40-year prison sentence. However, on Monday, Hutchins appeared at a federal court in Wisconsin where not only did he not plead guilty but also argued why he should be allowed to use the Internet.
Apparently, Hutchins’s arguments were strong enough for the judge who allowed him to use the Internet on one condition that he will not access the “kill switch” for WannaCry ransomware which halted the infection from spreading. Remember, the kill switch is a domain which Hutchins accidentally bought after analyzing WannaCry’s patron.
i'm still on trial, still not allowed to go home, still on house arrest; but now i am allowed online. Will get my computers back soon.
— Marcus Hutchins (@MalwareTechBlog) August 14, 2017
Hutchins can not access the kill switch since the FBI has seized it. However, the reason for seizing the domain is still not known since it has nothing to do with Kronos malware or its distribution. But the good news is that he can now travel anywhere within the United States as far as he is wearing the GPS monitor.
Also, Brian Klein and Marcia Hofmann will be representing Hutchins for the rest of the case. Hoffman represents the privacy advocate group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). In a talk to media outside the US court, Hoffman said that “Marcus Hutchins is a brilliant young man and hero – He is going to vigorously defend himself against these charges, and when the evidence comes to light we are confident he will be fully vindicated.”