Judge sets US$30,000 bail for a cyber security researcher

A celebrated young British cyber security researcher has been accused by a Las Vegas federal judge for advertising and selling malicious code designed to steal credit card information and banking password.

Marcus Hutchins, 23, was arrested by the FBI at Las Vegas Airport on Wednesday when he was about to board his flight back to the UK after attending the Black Hat and Def Con cyber-security conference. 

The federal court has charged him of six-count federal indictment for creating a malicious software known as Kronos, which was widely used to steal the information from victim’s computers. The prosecutor, Dan Cowhig, described him as a "danger to the public" and argued that he should not be bailed. 

While, Hutchins' attorney, Adrian Lobo, refuted the claims of Cowhig and welcomed the judge's decision to allow Hutchins to be released on conditional bail with a $30,000 (£23,000) cash.

"He has tremendous community support, local and abroad, and in the computer world. Many people are trying to put money together and raise the amount for the bond," said Ms. Lobo.

After his arrest, the cyber security researchers around the world rallied in support of the Judge’s decision, calling him a principled, ethical hacker.

"This is excellent news," said Nicholas Weaver, a computer scientist at the University of California at Berkeley. "The indictment is remarkably shallow even by indictment standards, which is disappointing because it adds considerable uncertainty and fosters distrust with the general security community."


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