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Tuesday, 15 August 2017 08:19

Marcus Hutchins pleads not guilty to FBI malware charges

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British security researcher Marcus Hutchins, who came to prominence after he inadvertently stopped the spread of the WannaCry ransomware in May, has pleaded not guilty to writing the code that was used to create the banking trojan Kronos.

He was arrested in Las Vegas on 2 August after he had boarded a plane to leave the country after attending the annual DEFCON conference. The following Monday he was released on US$30,000 bail.

Hutchins' lawyer Brian Klein told the court in Milwaukee that his client was "not guilty" of the six charges levelled at him, Motherboard reported.

He can now travel to Los Angeles and live there while he waits for his trial.

While Hutchins will be tracked by GPS, he will now be allowed full Internet access so he can continue to work. But he will not be allowed to access the sinkhole he used to stop the WannaCry ransomware.

The prosecution has claimed that Hutchins admitted to FBI agents he was the author of the code that became Kronos.

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.

The trial is expected to take place in Milwaukee in October.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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