23-year-old cyber-security researcher, Marcus Hutchins, got himself entangled with stealing banking log-ins by utilizing a piece of malware, Kronos. Born and bred in Devon, Marcus Hutchins became a public figure because of the WannaCry cyber-attack. The WannaCry cyber-attack hit the NHS in May. On Wednesday, he was arrested by the FBI.

According to The New Statesman, "Marcus Hutchins... a citizen and resident of the United Kingdom, was arrested in the United States on 2 August, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, after a grand jury in the Eastern District of Wisconsin returned a six-count indictment against Hutchins for his role in creating and distributing the Kronos banking Trojan," said the US Department of Justice.

Hutchins’ fellow cyber-security researchers were surprised at the indictment. But it was no longer surprising to the National cyber security Centre of the United Kingdom as they are already aware of the situation, the BBC reported.

What’s WannaCry cyber-attack?

On May 12, 2017, WannaCry virus broke out quickly throughout the computer systems across the globe. Very quickly, a cyber-security researcher found a solution to prevent the virus from spreading further. Because of this, the researcher, Mr. Hutchins rose to prominence. However, he was arrested for cyber crime himself and reports say that he was apprehended while he was attending the Black Hat and Def Con cyber-security conferences in Las Vegas. More recently the Telepgraph reported that he was released on Bail pending a scheduled hearing on August 14.

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Banking malware

Marcus Hutchins was arrested on allegations that he was responsible for creating and selling the malware code of Kronos, which is a malware designed to rob bank details from victims. Hutchins allegedly designed and sold the malware on internet forums.

Authorities became suspicious about the tweet of Hutchins, which he made as soon as Kronos was reported in the press. But his colleagues did not believe the allegations because Hutchins’ job involves the investigation of malware. His fellow researchers said that authorities had made a grave mistake. The Department of Justice ordered the FBI in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to investigate Mr Hutchins’ case.

What is Kronos?

Kronos, derived from a mythological god of time, is a kind of malware called a Trojan. In 2014, Kronos became popular after appearing on a Russian underground forum. It was sold for £5,330 ($7,000).

After IBM researchers reported that the malware had attacked Indian and UK bank websites it vanished from public attention in October 2015.

But alarmingly in May 2016, Kronos struck the second time after a report by cyber-security firm Proofpoint that the malware had targeted clients of Canadian financial institutions.

The same cyber-security firm reported that the Trojan had spread out in November through emails and was sent to different organizations, including higher education, hospitality and healthcare industries, and financial services.

The email contained messages, claiming to be related to Microsoft Sharepoint documents; however little did the victims know that their pc was already infected with malware, which includes a tool that steals credit-card numbers.