Remember Marcus Hutchins? Prosecutors Now Claim WannaCry Hero Admitted to Writing Kronos Banking Malware
Marcus Hutchins, who is popularly known as the “WannaCry hero” who helped stop the devastating ransomware attack by discovering a kill switch, has reportedly admitted to writing the code of a banking malware. Hutchins was arrested by the FBI while he visiting the US for a security conference in Las Vegas for allegedly writing and selling Kronos banking trojan.
The prosecution has filed some documents now that include a call transcript, claiming that Hutchins has admitted to writing the code that was later “incorporated” in the banking trojan. Hutchins is quoted as saying:
“So I wrote code for a guy a while back who then incorporated it into a banking malware, so they have logs of that, and essentially they want to know my part of the banking operation or if I just sold the code on to some guy… once they found I sold the code to someone, they wanted me to give them his name, and I don’t actually know anything about him.”
According to the BBC, Hutchins’ lawyers “are now seeking to have the evidence ruled inadmissible,” suggesting that he had been “sleep-deprived and intoxicated” and had been “coerced” by the FBI into a confession.
The documents also allege that Hutchins discussed paying off a £5,000 debt with a “compiled binary” of the code. The debt was reportedly accumulated because of an issue that caused Hutchins to lose some cryptocurrency he had been holding for someone else.
“I think the coding part I was less than 18, but I think giving him the binary I might have been older than 18,” Hutchins allegedly said during the phone call. “I knew it was always going to come back, I just didn’t think it would be so soon.”
If proven guilty on all six counts of creating and distributing Kronos, the British cybersecurity expert could face a maximum 40 years in prison.