A British computer expert who was hailed a hero after helping shut down a worldwide cyber attack that paralysed NHS computers has admitted in a police interview that he created the code of a malware that harvests bank details, a Las Vegas court has heard.
A prosecutor at Hutchins’ US hearing also told the court that he had “indicated” that he sold the malware.
However, the 23-year-old plans to plead not guilty to all six counts of creating and distributing the Kronos malware, his lawyer said after Friday’s hearing.
The US Department of Justice said Hutchins had been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, three counts of distributing and advertising an electronic communication interception device, one count of endeavouring to intercept electronic communications, and one count of attempting to access a computer without authorisation.
Hutchins was granted bail under strict conditions that he pay £23,000 and remain in the US.
The charges come just months after Hutchins helped find the “kill switch” that halted a ransomware virus called ‘WannaCry’ that had infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries.
The computer expert, who goes by the computer handle MalwareTech, had been in the US attending the Def Con event in Nevada city before his arrest.
Hutchins’ friend, who works in the cyber security industry and was with him at the time, said the 22-year-old “was escorted out of the airport and never made his flight.”