AP NEWS

British cyber expert pleads guilty to creating malware

May 2, 2019
FILE - This Monday, May 15, 2017, file photo shows Marcus Hutchins, a British cybersecurity expert during an interview in Ilfracombe, England. The British cybersecurity researcher hailed as a hero for credited with stopping a worldwide computer virus in 2017 has pleaded guilty to developing malware to steal banking information. Federal prosecutors in Wisconsin and Hutchins’ attorneys say in a Friday, April 19, 2019 filing that the 24-year-old is pleading guilty to developing the malware and conspiring to distribute it from 2012 to 2015. In exchange for his plea to those two charges, prosecutors are dismissing eight others. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A British cybersecurity researcher credited with stopping a worldwide computer virus in 2017 has pleaded guilty in Wisconsin federal court to developing malware to steal banking information.

Marcus Hutchins appeared in court Thursday after he agreed last month to plead guilty to developing a malware called Kronos and conspiring to distribute it from 2012 to 2015. Prosecutors dismissed eight more charges in exchange for his plea.

Sentencing for Hutchins is set for July 26. He faces up 10 years in prison but could receive a more lenient sentence for accepting responsibility.

Hutchins’ arrest in Las Vegas in August 2017 came as a shock because months earlier he was hailed as a hero for finding a “kill switch” to the WannaCry virus that crippled computers worldwide.