Apr 19, 2019

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.

What they're saying: Hutchens confirmed the plea and his culpability on his website.

"I regret these actions and accept full responsibility for my mistakes. Having grown up, I’ve since been using the same skills that I misused several years ago for constructive purposes."
— Hutchens wrote

What's next: Hutchens pleaded guilty to 2 charges, with 6 charges against him being dropped in exchange. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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