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Security Expert Who Stopped NHS Attack Has 'Admitted' Creating Malware To Steal Bank Details

Security Expert Who Stopped NHS Attack Has 'Admitted' Creating Malware To Steal Bank Details

He was hailed as a hero after stopping the WannaCry attack

Claire Reid

Claire Reid

The British security expert who was called a hero after helping to stop a global cyber-attack has admitted to creating software designed to steal bank details, US prosecutors have said.

Twenty-three-year old Marcus Hutchins, from Ilfracombe in Devon, is alleged to have created and sold Kronos malware between July 2014 and July 2015, the Mirror reports.

However, the tech-expert is planning to fight all six charges brought against him when he appears in a Las Vegas court next Tuesday.

Credit: PA

Hutchins, who managed to find a 'kill-switch' and help close down the WannaCry attack which had hit the NHS and thousands of others, appeared in court yesterday wearing a prison-issue yellow jumpsuit. Prosecutor Dan Cowhig said he had 'admitted' to creating the code in interview and also 'indicated' he had sold it on.

The prosecutor, also said Hutchins shouldn't be released pending the trial, as he was a 'danger to the public'. Despite his concerns, judge Nancy Koppe released him on a $30,000 (£23,000) bond, taking into account his previous good character.

A tweet sent from Hutchins' official account in July 2014. Credit: Twitter

While out on bond he is banned from using the Internet, will be GPS monitored, have to stay in Clark County, Nevada, and was forced to handover his passport.

An unnamed co-defendant is still at large.

Hutchins was caught after a sting operation by undercover officers, who bought the malware.

Credit: Facebook

Adrian Lobo, Hutchins' lawyer, said: "He fights the charges and we intend to fight the case.

"He has dedicated his life to researching malware, not trying to harm people. Use the internet for good is what he has done."

The charges are completely unrelated to the WannaCry attack, but instead involve malware code which can bypass anti-virus software and steal online banking details, which can then be sold on online.

His mum, Janet, has previously said it's 'hugely unlikely' her son is involved, as he has previously spent 'enormous amounts of time and even his free time' in attempts to tackle harmful malware. Other security experts have also spoken out in defence of Hutchins following his arrest, saying they also can't believe this is something he would ever be involved with.

Featured Image Credit: PA