WannaCry buster Marcus Hutchins pleads guilty to creating malware

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WannaCry buster Marcus Hutchins pleads guilty to creating malware

Deutsche Welle

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WannaCry buster Marcus Hutchins pleads guilty to creating malware
WannaCry buster Marcus Hutchins pleads guilty to creating malware. picture-alliance/AP Photo/F. Augstein
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A British cyber security expert who was credited with neutralizing the global WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 has pleaded guilty to US charges of developing malware.

Federal prosecutors in Wisconsin and Marcus Hutchins’ attorneys said in a joint court filing Friday that the 24-year-old agreed to plead guilty to developing malware called Kronos and conspiring to distribute it from 2012 to 2015.

In exchange for his guilty plea to those charges, prosecutors dismissed eight further charges.

‘I regret these actions’

“As you may be aware, I’ve pleaded guilty to two charges related to writing malware in the years prior to my career in security,” Hutchins said in a statement 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. I will continue to devote my time to keeping people safe from malware attacks.”

Hutchins faces up 10 years in prison but could receive a more lenient sentence for accepting responsibility, the court filing said. Attorneys said Hutchins was aware he could be deported.

He initially pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was scheduled to go on trial in July. A new trial date has not been set.

Hutchins ‘”knew it was always going to come back’

Prosecutors said Hutchins made incriminating statements during a two-hour interrogation, and later during a jailhouse phone call that Hutchins was told was being recorded, he told an unidentified person that he “used to write malware” years before.

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