A security researcher Marcus Hutchins, 22, a British national, who in May stopped an outbreak of the WannaCry ransomware has been arrested and detained after attending the Def Con conference in Las Vegas. Hutchins was arrested at Las Vegas airport on Wednesday by US Marshals, several close friends have confirmed.
A Justice Department spokesperson has confirmed on the phone that his arrest is in relation to his alleged role “in creating and distributing the Kronos banking Trojan.”
The indictment was dated July 11, about two weeks before he flew to the US to attend the annual security conference. The Justice Department has been after those involved with the notorious Kronos malware for more than two years.
Hutchins, also known as @MalwareTechBlog, stormed to fame after he found a kill switch in the malware, known as WannaCry, amid a global epidemic of ransomware. Hutchins registered a domain name that stemmed the infection.
He was hailed as a hero for stopping the attack, which gripped UK hospitals and other major industries around the world.