Marcus Hutchins: British tech whizz who stopped NHS cyber attack arrested in US over 'malware' allegations

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A British computer whizz who helped stop a world-wide cyber-attack has been arrested in the US on suspicion of being involved in creating malware.

Marcus Hutchins, also known as MalwareTech, helped foil the WannaCry “ransomware” virus that hit more than 300,000 computers.

The NHS was one of the many organisations across 150 countries struck by the virus in May, before Hutchins, 23, discovered a ‘kill-switch’ that stopped it.

According to US authorities, he was arrested at Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport on Wednesday and was charged with creating banking malware.

The US Department of Justice said the allegations do not relate to the worldwide cyber-attack.

Marcus Hutchins was branded a hero for slowing down the WannaCry global cyber attack (AP)

It said: “Marcus Hutchins… a citizen and resident of the United Kingdom, was arrested in the United States on 2 August, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, after a grand jury in the Eastern District of Wisconsin returned a six-count indictment against Hutchins for his role in creating and distributing the Kronos banking Trojan.

“The charges against Hutchins, and for which he was arrested, relate to alleged conduct that occurred between in or around July 2014 and July 2015.”

According to Motherboard, Hutchins was arrested while at the airport after attending a hacking conference.

The indictment includes allegations that he created, advertised and sold banking malware on the darkweb.

The malware is used to direct users to fake websites where they would then enter their banking details.

A friend, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “We tried to visit him at [the detention centre], but he was moved before visiting hours.

“We’ve not had any contact with him for 18 hours now.”

News site Motherboard suggested the FBI was involved in his arrest. 

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