IT expert who halted WannaCry cyber attack arrested in Las Vegas - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

IT expert who halted WannaCry cyber attack arrested in Las Vegas

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In this Monday, May 15, 2017, file photo, British IT expert Marcus Hutchins speaks during an interview in Ilfracombe, England. (AP Images) In this Monday, May 15, 2017, file photo, British IT expert Marcus Hutchins speaks during an interview in Ilfracombe, England. (AP Images)
The Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse is shown on Aug. 3, 2017. (Jason Westerhaus/FOX5) The Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse is shown on Aug. 3, 2017. (Jason Westerhaus/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5/AP) -

A British IT expert who was credited with stopping a global cyber attack known as "WannaCry" was arrested by the FBI in Las Vegas for allegedly creating and distributing malicious software designed to collect bank information. 

Marcus Hutchins, also known as "Malwaretech," was arrested on his way back to Britain after spending time at an annual conference for hackers and IT professionals. 

Following a two-year investigation, an indictment filed in a Wisconsin court in July alleged that Hutchins and a co-defendant, whose name was redacted, conspired to advertise the Kronos banking Trojan around July 2014 and July 2015. 

Authorities said the Kronos banking Trojan, created by Hutchins, was first made available through certain internet forums in early 2014 and marketed through AlphaBay, a hidden service on the "Tor" network. The Department of Justice announced on July 20, 2017, AlphaBay was shuttered through an international law enforcement effort. 

The indictment further stated Hutchins advertised the availability of Kronos on an internet forum and in June of 2015, a version of the malware was sold in exchange for about $2,000 in digital currency. 

Hutchins was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, three counts of distributing and advertising an electronic communication interception device, one count of endeavoring to intercept electronic communications and one count of attempting to access a computer without authorization. The indictment said the Kronos banking Trojan was designed to harvest and transfer the username and password associated with banking websites as it was entered on an infected computer that was not accessible to the victim. Since its creation, Kronos has been configured to take credentials associated with banking systems in Canada, Germany, Poland, France, the United Kingdom and other countries. 

According to his Twitter account, Hutchins attended DefCon and his comments suggested that he was at the airport preparing to leave. However, Hutchins never left Nevada. 

Hutchins appeared in federal court Thursday where a judge said he would stay in custody pending a hearing on Friday to determine if he will hire his own attorney or have one appointed. Hutchins did not enter a plea. 

Stay with FOX5 and FOX5Vegas.com for developments.

Copyright 2017 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press Contributed to this report. 

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