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British Cyber Researcher Entered a Plea of Not Guilty To U.S. Hacking Charges

On Monday, Marcus Hutchins entered the plea of not guilty at the arraignment in that was due on last Friday but was postponed. Hutchins is cyber security officer who denied the Wisconsin federal court charges filed against him regarding his building and selling of malicious code for stealing banking credentials of people.

Earlier in May, Hutchins earned fame among the hackers community because of his expertise in helping to uproot ‘WannaCry’ ransomware that had attacked and infected globally, the computers of thousands of industries, factories, shops, hospitals and schools in around 150 countries.

Hutchins was identified as ‘MalwareTech’ before his achievement for halting the attacks of ‘WannaCry’ ransomware and stopping the damage done by it from spreading beyond the already infected 150 countries. His true identity remained behind the scenes till his achievement brought fame to him.

FBI arrested Hutchins in earlier August at ‘Def Con security conference’ being held in Las Vegas on the charge that he along with another unknown defendant has been involved in advertisement, in distribution and in gaining profit from a malware code called as ‘Kronos’ in between the span of July 2014 and 2015.

Reports revealed Hutchin’s partner made attempts to sell ‘Kronos’ malware for $2,000 and $3,000 on dark web-markets. One of the marketplaces includes AlphaBay that got shut down recently.

According to Reuters report, ‘Kronos’ provided attackers an easy access to bank account and credit card information of people who downloaded the malware from email attachment. The case has attracted attention of hackers towards the consequences of the case.

Marcia Hoffman, who is Hutchin’s attorney, claimed to the reporter on Friday after arraignment that Hutchins is, in fact, a ‘brilliant young man and a hero’. The attorney further asserted positively that

“He is going to vigorously defend himself against these charges. And when the evidence comes to light we are confident he will be fully vindicated.”

Hutchins will be tracked using GPS as long as his trial continues. But, as an employee at Kryptos Logic in Los Angeles, he can access internet to continue work.

What’s the greatest concern in this case? Basically the tension between the law enforcement agencies and hackers has increased as the hackers are looking forwards to implication of the trial. How the case will be dealt and what cost the hacker ‘if proved’ will have to pay? Are claims of Hutchin’s attorney true? Cyber security is a global issue and cyber criminals shouldn’t be vindicated without authentic evidences. Future court proceedings will tell how the sensitive matter will be dealt.

About the author

Samina Fazal

She is an expressionist by nature and radical thinker by thought. she has worked as an Assistant editor at Youth Times and as writer at Self projections. She is an M-Phil in English Literature and a great researcher. She has an eagle eye on the current affairs of the world and now she is part of Expert Legal Review as International Assistant Editor.