Marcus Hutchins, the UK researcher who accidentally stopped the spread of WannaCry ransomware, was arraigned in a federal Wisconsin court on Monday, for allegedly authoring a banking trojan called Kronos.
Hutchins' trial is scheduled for 23 October. Until then, the young defendant will be allowed to live in Los Angeles, where he can continue his work as a security researcher. However, he will not be given access to the WannaCry sinkhole he created while analysing the wormable ransomware.
Represented by attorneys Marcia Hofmann and Brian Klein, Hutchins is not permitted to leave the country, but can travel freely within the US while being monitored with GPS.
Hutchins, aka MalwareTech, was arrested in Las Vegas on 2 August. He is accused of creating Kronos and conspiring with others in a plot to advertise, sell and profit from the malware between July 2014 and July 2015. In July he was indicted on 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.
According to a Motherboard report this week, US attorneys in a 4 August hearing said Hutchins admitted to FBI agents "that he was the author of the code that became the Kronos malware." Hutchins' arrest has triggered an outcry among members of the security community, many of whom see Hutchins as a white-hat hero who quashed the WannaCry attack. Additionally, some legal experts have questioned the strength of the US' case.