Home Security Researcher finds Marcus Hutchins' code that was used in malware

Researcher finds Marcus Hutchins' code that was used in malware

A security researcher says code has been discovered that was written by British hacker Marcus Hutchins that was apparently "borrowed" by the creator of the banking trojan Kronos.

The researcher, who uses the pseudonym hasherezade, posted a tweet identifying the code that had been taken from Hutchins' repository on GitHub.

Hutchins, who came to prominence when he inadvertently stopped the spread of the WannaCry ransomware in May, was arrested by the FBI in Las Vegas on 2 August after he had boarded a plane to leave the US. 

He had been in Las Vegas to attend the annual DEFCON security conference.

The chargesheet drafted by the FBI to arrest him said he had written and helped distribute the Kronos banking trojan along with an unnamed co-conspirator.

Hasherezade also located a tweet from Hutchins in 2015 in which he said he had found the hooking engine that he had made for his blog in a malware sample.

In another tweet, Hasherezade said it looked like the creators of Kronos had simply stolen this code.

A blog post by Hutchins in January 2015 detailed the creation of the hooking engine.

Hutchins appeared in court on 14 August and pleaded not guilty to the six charges levelled against him.

He is now free on bail and awaiting his next court appearance in Milwaukee in October.

While the chargesheet filed against Hutchins only accuses him of being involved in writing and spreading Kronos, the head of a security firm, Dave Aitel of Immunity, has alleged that he was involved in WannaCry himself.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.