Aug 3, 2017

Researcher who stopped WannaCry hack detained in U.S.

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

Pence aide says intel report of Russia helping Trump is "false information"

Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Clyburn: Sanders' "socialist" label will be "extra burden" in House races

Jim Clyburn with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Sen. Bernie Sanders' identification as a democratic socialist may be an "extra burden" in down-ballot House races if he were to win the Democratic nomination.

Why it matters: Clyburn's comments echo fears from many establishment Democrats, who worry the House majority they won in 2018 by taking moderate seats carried by President Trump could be at risk with Sanders at the top of the ticket.