Marcus Hutchins, the "accidental hero" who helped stop the global epidemic of the WannaCry ransomware and was recently arrested in the US, has reportedly pleaded not guilty of charges of allegedly creating and distributing the notorious banking malware Kronos. Hutchins was arrested at the McCarran International Airport before he could board his flight back to Britain from Def Con.
Hutchins' not guilty plea was confirmed by his lawyer Adrian Lobo to local Las Vegas reporter Christy Wilcox in a Facebook Live video. Although Hutchins, also known as MalwareTech, has been granted bail on a $30,000 ($23,000) bond, he is yet to be released. According to Wilcox, who took to Twitter to report the proceedings of the hearing, the security researcher was not released because "lawyer says could not get bail in time".
Hutchins' $30,000 bond will be crowdfunded, thanks to "tremendous support" from the infosec community as well as friends, Lobo said. His lawyer said that they did not have enough time to raise the money since they had only 30 minutes after court adjourned to post bail. However, Hutchins may be released on Monday (7 August).
According to Wilcox's tweets, federal prosecutors said that Hutchins admitted creating and selling Kronos. However, his attorney the researcher's attorney disagreed with these claims. Even after his release, Hutchins will reportedly not be allowed access to internet connected devices and will have to wear a GPS tag so that he can be tracked at all times.
Janet Hutchins, the researcher's mother, told Telegraph that it is "hugely unlikely" he is involved as he dedicated "enormous amounts of time and even his free time" combating such malicious software.
US prosecutors are yet to reveal any evidence of allegations that Hutchins developed and sold Kronos. Hutchins is slated to appear at a court in Wisconsin on Tuesday (8 August), where he was indicted.