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Thursday, 17 August 2017 10:17

Researcher finds Marcus Hutchins' code that was used in malware

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A security researcher says code has been discovered that was written by British hacker Marcus Hutchins that was apparently "borrowed" by the creator of the banking trojan Kronos.

The researcher, who uses the pseudonym hasherezade, posted a tweet identifying the code that had been taken from Hutchins' repository on GitHub.

Hutchins, who came to prominence when he inadvertently stopped the spread of the WannaCry ransomware in May, was arrested by the FBI in Las Vegas on 2 August after he had boarded a plane to leave the US. 

He had been in Las Vegas to attend the annual DEFCON security conference.

The chargesheet drafted by the FBI to arrest him said he had written and helped distribute the Kronos banking trojan along with an unnamed co-conspirator.

Hasherezade also located a tweet from Hutchins in 2015 in which he said he had found the hooking engine that he had made for his blog in a malware sample.

In another tweet, Hasherezade said it looked like the creators of Kronos had simply stolen this code.

A blog post by Hutchins in January 2015 detailed the creation of the hooking engine.

Hutchins appeared in court on 14 August and pleaded not guilty to the six charges levelled against him.

He is now free on bail and awaiting his next court appearance in Milwaukee in October.

While the chargesheet filed against Hutchins only accuses him of being involved in writing and spreading Kronos, the head of a security firm, Dave Aitel of Immunity, has alleged that he was involved in WannaCry himself.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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