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Marcus Hutchins, the British researcher who stopped the May WannaCry hack, has been arrested by the FBI in Las Vegas for allegedly playing a role in creating the "Kronos" malware that targeted bank accounts, per The Guardian. The WannaCry attack crippled healthcare operations in the UK and hit dozens of countries.

About Kronos: It spread between 2014 and 2015 through emails with malicious attachments, such as compromised Word documents, with the aim of getting banking credentials. New infections occurred through 2016.

Hutchins' charges: The Department of Justice released the allegations about Hutchins' role in the Kronos hack, claiming he helped create, spread, and maintain the hack. Hutchins faces six counts of hacking-related charges. There is another, unnamed co-defendant, who allegedly tried selling the malware on AlphaBay, a darknet marketplace, which was shut down July 20 when the FBI and European authorities seized its servers.

Note: Ryan Kalember of Proofpoint said "This could very easily be the FBI mistaking legitimate research activity with being in control of Kronos infrastructure. Lots of researchers like to log in to crimeware tools and interfaces and play around."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

The Robinhood M&A rumor mill churns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Robinhood's valuation is now just over $11 billion, a fraction of where it traded in August and below that of its last private round of funding. Cue the M&A mongers.

Why it matters: It's not just Robinhood—falling values of growth-oriented tech stocks have raised speculation that formerly high-flying fintechs could be snapped up by more well-capitalized buyers.

3 hours ago - Health

Student's death renews calls for schools to stock opioid overdose drug

Photo: Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A Connecticut student's death has renewed calls for schools to stock and administer naloxone, a drug that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Why it matters: U.S. drug overdose fatalities reached six figures in a 12-month period for the first time in November, and synthetic or natural opioids were the cause of a majority of the overdoses.

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