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WannaCry Ransomware ‘Hero’ Marcus Hutchins Admits to Malware Charges

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British cyber-security researcher hailed as a hero for neutralising the global “WannaCry” ransomware attack in 2017 has pleaded guilty to US charges of writing malware. Marcus Hutchins, who was charged on 10 counts in the United States, pleaded guilty to two of them, with the US government agreeing to move towards dismissing the remaining counts at the time of the sentencing, according to a filing at the US District Court in the eastern district Wisconsin.

“I’ve pleaded guilty to two charges related to writing malware in the years prior to my career in security”, Hutchins, also known online as MalwareTech, said in a statement. “I regret these actions and accept full responsibility for my mistakes,” he added. He did not give details.

Hutchins had risen to overnight fame within the hacker community in May 2017 when he helped de-fang the global “WannaCry” ransomware attack, which infected hundreds of thousands of computers and caused disruptions at factories, hospitals, shops and schools in more than 150 countries.

He was arrested later that year in Las Vegas on unrelated charges that he had built and sold malicious code used to steal banking credentials. US prosecutors had claimed that he and a co-defendant advertised, distributed and profited from malware code known as “Kronos” between July 2014 and 2015. He was later freed on bail, and had plead not guilty to the charges.

The case stunned the computer security community and drew fire from critics who argued that researchers often work with computer code which can be deployed for malicious purposes. His arrest had sparked criticism from some researchers who argue that the case could dissuade “white hat hackers” – those who find security flaws to help fix them – from cooperating with authorities.

Written with agency inputs

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Coinbase is the latest crypto exchange to add dogecoin support

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Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to easily buy, sell, trade, and hold various cryptocurrencies, has added dogecoin to its roster. The ‘joke’ cryptocurrency has picked up speed in a way unanticipated years ago when it first launched, making a small number of people very wealthy while driving others to purchase the coins in hopes of reaching or exceeding … Continue reading

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Samsung Galaxy Book Pro, Pro 360, and Flex2 Alpha now on sale: What’s the difference?

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Samsung just released three high-powered notebook computers to the public, all in their “Galaxy Book” brand line. The Galaxy Book Pro was released in 13 and 15-inch iterations, both new for 2021. There’s a new Samsung Galaxy Book 360 in both 13 and 15-inch iterations, and there’s a new Galaxy Book Flex2 α (Alpha) that’s new for 2021, too. Samsung … Continue reading

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MacBook Pro 2021 leaks a return to greatness

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This week a set of leaks suggest that the 2021 version of the MacBook Pro will bring back some long-lost must-have features. Where the MacBook Pro used to come with a variety of ports: USB, HDMI, headphone jack, and SD-card included. With the latest data leak on the next MacBook Pro release from Apple, it would seem that we could … Continue reading

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