FBI Arrests Security Researcher Who Stopped WannaCry

In May, the WannaCry ransomware brought massive loss with its destructive power and cripples thousands of computers world wide. The WannaCry went on a rampage only to be stopped by the “kill switch” which researchers found.

The security researcher Marcus Hutchins became an instant hero after finding the “kill switch” and registering a URL with the ransomware’s code. Hutchins stopped EternalBlue exploit by registering that domain.

Reports state that Hutchins who goes by the handle MalwareTech has been arrested after attending the DEFCON even in Las Vegas. He was detained by the country’s authorities. It is still not clear if he faces any charges. According to the Motherboard, FBI is involved in the arrest of Hutchins.

Both UK’s National Crime Agency and the National Cyber Security are aware of the current situation.

“I’m now working on getting a lawyer for @MalwareTechBlog as he did not have a legal representation and visitors,” Mabbitt continued to say.

Prior to the arrest, Hutchins had been attending DEF CON and tweeting about his time there. The last tweets publicly made were on August 2, where he posted about being on a plane. At present, it is unclear where he was arrested.

Held annually DEF CON sees security researcher from around the world descend on the US to demonstrate the latest threats, security research, and vulnerabilities. This year, multiple ethical hackers showed how it was possible to manipulate voting machines used in the US election.

After stopping WannaCry, Hutchins wrote online that the ransomware had been a series of “crazy events”. In a blog post, he explained that he woke up at 10 AM monitored some other ransomware that was spreading then went to lunch. “When I returned home at about 2:30, the threat sharing platform was flooded with posts about various NHS systems all across the country being hit, which was what tipped me off to the fact this was something big,” he continued to say.