23-Year-Old Hacker Who Saved Hospitals From Cyber Catastrophe Is Now In Prison

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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U.S. authorities reportedly arrested a security researcher Wednesday who famously helped abate and terminate a global cyber attack in May.

The detainment stems from allegations that Marcus Hutchins, 23, created a form of banking malware (infected software) called Kronos, according to Motherboard. The FBI allegedly arrested Hutchins in Las Vegas where he was attending two popular annual hacking conferences.

“We still don’t know why Marcus has been arrested,” a friend told Motherboard. “And now we have no idea where in the US he’s been taken to and we’re extremely concerned for his welfare.”

Hutchins helped curb an ostensibly powerful cyber attack called WannaCry that reportedly affected more than 150 countries, by, in part, purchasing a website address for $10.69. (RELATED: Massive Cyber Attack Reportedly Hits 16 British Health Facilities, Causing Chaos In Emergency Rooms)

After a separate tech expert aptly noticed that the malware’s virtual address ended with a certain series of random numbers and letters, Hitchens realized he could buy it from a domain name registrar service. Upon acquiring the web address, he redirected it towards a “sinkhole” server, which gives out false information and renders computers incapable of accessing the correct site. The malware would then exit the server after the traffic was connected to the domain.

The tech wunderkind was given a $10,000 reward from a bug bounty platform, which grants people money for solving security issues. He said he plans on donating it to charity.

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