Stories by Joe Uchill

WannaCry savior pleads guilty to helping distribute malware

Marcus Hutchens, also known as MalwareTech, pleaded guilty on Friday to charges relating to the sale of Kronos and UPAS-Kit malware, marketed and sold online between 2012 and 2015. ZDNet has posted the plea agreement online.

Why it matters: Hutchens trial struck a nerve with many in the cybersecurity community because he had gone on to become a well-regarded and well-liked security researcher. He became internationally famous after discovering the "killswitch" that shut off the devastating WannaCry ransomware attack linked to North Korea just 3 months before his 2017 arrest.

Mueller report: Trump, Flynn sought Clinton emails

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

After requesting Russia release Hillary Clinton's deleted emails in July 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly asked Michael Flynn to hunt down the emails, according to the Mueller report released Thursday.

Why it matters: Trump has always claimed he was joking when he requested the emails from Russia, but opponents will likely see this as confirmation Trump was not joking. Flynn took the requests seriously enough to contact individuals already looking for the emails.

Industry puts cybersecurity pros in charge

Factory workers assembling a car. Photo: Jerry Cooke/Corbis via Getty Images
Factory workers assembling a car. Photo: Jerry Cooke/Corbis via Getty Images

After years of dire warnings about hackers wreaking havoc on computers that run physical processes in factories and infrastructure, you’d think industrial firms would already have their top cybersecurity officers running cybersecurity at their plants. Today, that’s the case for only 35% of big facilities — but the situation is finally changing.

Why it matters: The 2 most important things to an industrial business are uptime and efficiency. Where plant owners once worried that cybersecurity pros would meddle with industrial processes they didn't understand, the very real impacts of 2 global cyberattacks in 2016 proved their skills were sorely needed.