Say it ain’t so! It was just a few weeks ago that Marcus Hutchins, a cybersecurity researcher for Kryptos Logic was being hailed as a hero for his discovery of the kill-switch used to stop the spread of the dangerous WannaCry ransomware malware attack that infected millions of computers around the world. Now, however, Hutchins has been arrested by the FBI on federal charges related to the creation and distribution of the Kronos banking malware that when surreptitiously installed on victims’ computers allowed the cybercriminals to steal login information and data that enabled the cybercriminals to hack into their victims’ bank accounts.
Federal authorities allege that Hutchins created the software and then, in keeping with the present business plan used by many cybercriminals sold the malware for thousands of dollars to other criminals on websites on the Dark Web, where criminals buy and sell criminal information and products.
It should not be overlooked that Hutchins has only been charged with these crimes and has a presumption of innocence. A lesson for all of us is to remember that malware such as both the Wannacry ransomware and the Kronos banking malware are generally downloaded on to the computers, smart phones and other electronic devices of their victims when the victims click on links in infected emails or text messages. Trust me, you can’t trust anyone. Never click on any links unless in you have absolutely confirmed that they are legitimate.