NHS cyber-defender Marcus Hutchins back online

  • 16 August 2017
  • From the section Technology

The British cyber-security researcher, charged in the US with creating and selling malware, has returned to Twitter to thank his supporters.

It is the first time Marcus Hutchins has spoken publicly since his arrest earlier this month in Las Vegas.

Earlier on Monday the 23-year-old pleaded “not guilty” during a court hearing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

A trial has been scheduled for October. The court gave Mr Hutchins permission to work and use the internet again.

However, he will not be allowed access to the server he used to stop WannaCry spreading.

He must surrender his passport and will be tracked in the US via GPS during his release.

Posting on Twitter as @MalwareTechBlog, Mr Hutchins said: “There’s a lot of people I’d like to thank for amazing support over the past 11 days, which I will do when I get a chance to publish my blog.”

He added: “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.”

He also listed a list of “things to do” at Def Con, the hacking conference he attended in Las Vegas prior to his arrest.

The list read: “Attend parties; visit red rock canyon; go shooting; be indicted by the FBI; rent supercars.”

Mr Hutchins shot to fame after helping to stall the WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack that struck the NHS and affected many other organisations around the world in May.

‘Brilliant young man’

Mr Hutchins faces six charges relating to the development and distribution of Kronos, a well-known piece of malware that gathered financial information from infected computers. He was arrested by the FBI on 2 August.

A second defendant, who has not yet been named, was included in the federal indictment against Mr Hutchins.

“Marcus Hutchins is a brilliant young man and a hero,” said Marcia Hoffman, one of his lawyers, who was speaking outside the court after the hearing.

“He is going to vigorously defend himself against these charges and when the evidence comes to light we are confident that he will be fully vindicated.”

Brian Klein, a second lawyer, added: “We are very pleased today that the court modified his terms, allowing him to return to his important work.”

Mr Hutchins was arrested shortly after visiting the Black Hat and Def Con cyber-security conferences in Las Vegas.

The cyber-security researcher is from Ilfracombe, Devon and works for LA-based firm Kryptos Logic.

He was granted bail on 5 August after $30,000 (£23,000) was raised by friends and family.

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