back to article WannaCry kill-switch hero Marcus Hutchins collared by FBI on way home from DEF CON

Marcus Hutchins, the unassuming Brit who found and activated the kill switch in the WannaCry ransomware, has been arrested by the FBI in America. Hutchins had been invited over to the States for the DEF CON hacking conference, held last week in Las Vegas, Nevada, and stayed on a few extra days to do the usual touristy things …

  1. Kurgan

    Stay CLEAR of the USA

    As usual, if you work in security, stay AWAY from USA (or Russia).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stay CLEAR of the USA

      Stay away from the USA for whatever reason, more like.

      (Also note that they seem to be currently applying a "regime change" operation on themselves, with color revolution and everything. This ain't going to be fun.)

      1. oiseau Silver badge

        Re: Stay CLEAR of the USA

        "Stay away from the USA for whatever reason, more like."

        Very unfortunate that this is so.

        But I'm afraid you're right.

        I just would not feel at all safe travelling to a country where I stand a chance of abuse by a border guard on a whim, with no way to protect myself from his bad morning's foul humour.

        Or be arrested without known cause with no available legal consel.

        Cheers,

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stay CLEAR of the USA

          Not a chance I will cross that line again. It is a very bright red line in my mind. Race war is just one of the big problems. They recently approved concealed carry of weapons by university students. Major brain drain in action now. The center of the Bell curve skewing down the curve quickly.

        2. fajensen Silver badge

          Re: Stay CLEAR of the USA

          Or shot for no reason at all .... apart from the police officers needing a paid vacation while the inquest clears them of any wrongdoing.

      2. phuzz Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Stay CLEAR of the USA

        "with color revolution and everything"

        Is that a revolution to change the spelling of "colour" back to being correct?

        1. waldo kitty
          Facepalm

          Brits and their damned extra "u" (was: Re: Stay CLEAR of the USA)

          "Is that a revolution to change the spelling of "colour" back to being correct?"

          i don't know about you but over here we pronounce the word as "col or" or "col er"... not "col our" or "col hour" ;)

          i won't mention the "colour" spelling being flagged as misspelled B)

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phew

    It's a good job I didn't go to Def-Con, I was planning to - but work kind of got in the way

    Not sure why I'm bothered, but being in IT might make me a target for some reason

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Phew

      Not sure why I'm bothered, but being in IT might make me a target for some reason

      To be honest, the way things are going over there, being bothered is entirely sane. It's just not worth the potential hassle to travel over there, particularly if you're going somewhere that may raise your profile (like defcon).

      There aren't many countries I'd outright refuse to travel to for work, but the US is currently top of that list. To be honest, I'm not convinced I'd be too pleased about travelling to the UK if I didn't already live here, but we are, at least a long way behind the US in the arresting-for-the-fuck-of-it stakes.

      If I *had* to go, it'd be with burner phone, laptop etc with no credentials to access anything until they're communicated to me once I'm safely into the country (and deactivated before I leave). Even a few years ago that'd sound incredibly paranoid, and it's scary how increasingly rational it seems to have become

      1. James Anderson

        Re: Phew

        h dear -- you have a burner phone you must be a degenerate lefty terrorist.

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: Phew

          We have an NHS, I'm pretty sure that makes us basically communists by US standards...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Phew

            We have the NHS, they have the FBI, CIA, NSA, DHS, NRA, DIA, DUI, DIA, DGIA, CSS, DEA, even the DOE* is an intelligence agency.

            *DOE - Department of Energy

            1. HausWolf

              Re: Phew

              With Rick Perry in charge the DOE is most certainly not an intelligence agency.

        2. Wayland Bronze badge

          Re: Phew

          It would not be an obvious burner phone. Just a 2nd hand one with a new SIM.

          1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

            Re: Phew

            > It would not be an obvious burner phone. Just a 2nd hand one with a new SIM.

            Yup, exactly. If you've engraved 'burner0001' into it, you're probably doing it wrong

  3. getHandle

    Cockwombles

    Bet Trump increases their funding... :-(

    1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      Re: Cockwombles

      Fortunately, Trump doesn't get to set the funding. He gets to ask for funding, but Congress (specifically, the House) drafts the appropriations. This is why the news (yesterday) that the Customs and Border Patrol organization explicitly told their agents to stonewall members of Congress back when the Muslim Ban (v1) was enacted is so extraordinarily foolish.

      Sure, Congress isn't going to defund CBP... this isn't how you get your stretch financing goals met!

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Cockwombles

      Bet Trump increases their funding

      This is not a Trump-ism. Sklyarov got arrested in similar circumstances[1] as far back as 2001. El Reg wrote about him quite a few times.

      [1] "Similar" assumes Hutchins didn't actually unleash evil malware on the world.

    3. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Cockwombles

      Donald Trump doesn't matter much here, except as a catalyst, slowly clearing the mud from the heads of the thickos who get policies mixed up with identity and tribalism. The ascendancy of Donald Trump is just that event in history where they accidentally dropped the pretty stage background and the ugly machinery behind the whole performance becomes visible and obvious to all.

      ... The president by law only has his all intrusive and lethal God-Emporer Powers over Foreigners, those un-Americans, remember. What Obama's surveillance state was indeed slagged over, not over any 'right' or 'wrong' or - god forbid - principles and stuff.

  4. PabloPablovski

    The US is effed, the police state loonies are in charge.

    It'd be nice to think our beloved PM - or Home Secretary, whose understanding of infosec and hashtags is unparalleled - would be making strong representations to Trump to free him a day get him home stat - tonight, preferably.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Its pretty clear we know next to nothing about whats really going on with this.

      Perhaps he was arrested at the request of OUR intelligence services for all we know?

      All we know for certain right now is:

      - he's been detained

      - it occurred just after he attended a black hat convention

      - it also occurred just as the wallets were emptied

      - he's confessed previously to using a fake DoB to open a bank account

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        "Perhaps he was arrested at the request of OUR intelligence services for all we know?"

        Good points, but if that was valid then they would arrest him when he landed back in Blighty.

        "- he's confessed previously to using a fake DoB to open a bank account"

        Hardly an FBI matter.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          For security reasons...

          Hardly an FBI matter.

          I dunno -- how much did he weight?

        3. Alphebatical
          Stop

          Ermm... I'm pretty sure lying to open a bank account is an FBI matter the same way that property damage is a policy matter. I think you mean it's not worth prosecuting, though I imagine it'll appear on any indictment they eventually cook up for him.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not Blighty

          They might prefer him to be arrested by the very cruel US justice system rather than the relatively well-behaved British one. The Americans arrogantly give themselves the right to prosecute offences committed anywhere in the world.

          Anonymous, because I prefer them not to arrest me next time I go over there.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I was going to make some comment about the Awan brothers and arrests in airports because they fall under different jurisdiction but thought I'd search the Reg for recent Awan Brothers or Wasserman Schultz info first and find there is virtually no coverage (from those searches anyway).

          WTF!

          Seems I may have mistaken the type of site this is.

          1. fajensen Silver badge
            Flame

            Seems I may have mistaken the type of site this is.

            While "Media" - Either you Stay on The Message or you are a "Servant of Putin", "Alt Right Cookie", "Fringe" ... whatever sticks, that's what you will officially become, basically.

            Once you are one of those agents of the deplorables, you can write just anything at all, because Freedom and Democracy. Maybe not for much money, maybe to not that great an audience, and "Media" has to pay rent / mortgages like we all do.

            If anyone pulled the same kind of stunts in one of those areas where "we" fly drones ... then there is one-size-fits all "solution" to that too.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              'To the neocon gulag with you'

              https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/08/daniel-mcadams/worried-crazed-russophobia/

              '... there will be a push to move on other alternative media

              that has nothing to do with Russia but that opposes US interventionist foreign policy: ZeroHedge, Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul Institute, ConsortiumNews, etc.

              Crazy, you say? Don’t forget: this war against us already started last year when the Washington Post ran a front page article accusing all of the above of being Russian agents!

              What would be next? Do you read any of these alternative news sites? Do you pass along articles that oppose US sanctions policy toward Russia? You are engaging in transactions. You will be subject to “sanctions” as described in the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” which is now the law of the land.

              This would never happen, you might say. The government would never compile, analyze, and target private news outlets just because they deviate from the official neocon Washington line.

              Perhaps not yet. But some US government funded “non-governmental” organizations are already doing just that...The German Marshall Fund project monitors 600 Twitter accounts [that ] are “accounts that are involved in promoting Russian influence and disinformation goals.” Which accounts does this monitor? It won’t tell us. How does it choose which ones to monitor? It won’t tell us. To what end? Frighteningly, it won’t tell us.

              How ironic that something called the German Marshall Fund is bringing Stasi-like tactics to silence alternative media and opinions in the United States!..'

              -- Daniel McAdams,

              Russia Sanctions and The Coming Crackdown on Americans

              Ron Paul Institute

              1. fajensen Silver badge

                Re: 'To the neocon gulag with you'

                Russia Sanctions and The Coming Crackdown on Americans

                .... and .... Once again the entire issue is reduced to "Bad American Policies applied to Americans, Oh The Horror". That is exactly why America truly deserves every inch of the rogering that Donald Trump will be giving them for the next 7 years.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Awan Brothers or Wasserman Schultz

            http://www.wnd.com/2017/06/the-biggest-scandal-youve-never-heard-of/

      2. NonSSL-Login

        WannaDomain

        It could possibly be that I dreamt this but for some reason I keep thinking that he had registered the wannacry stopping domain in the past, which would be suspicious if that was the case.

        99.9% chance that I am 100% wrong though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: WannaDomain

          I read an article earlier tonight that said that in the sub heading but didnt expand on it in the detail

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: WannaDomain

          He claimed to register the site after investigating the code.

    3. fajensen Silver badge

      It'd be nice but ... She is a cyborg, rooted already by the NSA.

  5. h4rm0ny

    So it's been, what, eighteen hours since anybody has heard from him? They took him and he's just vanished from communication? Poor sod - he's probably terrified. And with the USA's history of punishing people for being smarter than them, I wouldn't blame him.

    Hope he's alright. I doubt he will be anywhere near as well-disposed to helping people or governments after this.

    1. jonfr

      I'm never helping anyone again - they can watch their own gates

      After a minor run in with the police and the law 17 years ago in a accidental I.T security thing at my school I'm never going to help them or anyone else again. It didn't land me in jail but it did come dam close it. What it did was cost me computer hardware + data and good amount of money (by 17 years ago standards).

      He is going to feel the same way once this is over. He might work for a company in the security I.T field (or he might switch fields once he gets out from the U.S) if he feels up to it. That might not be the case in the long run. This type of things have terrible results on one mental personality.

      Today, if I see a security flaw I let it be. The owner of it can deal with it on his own time and cost once everything has started to burn because if his own incompetence.

      I just make sure my own gate is secure on my own systems. Everything else is treated as possible security risk.

    2. PaulFrederick

      Punishing people smarter than us? You are not making a very strong case for your intelligence by jumping to conclusions based on insufficient information. There's a better than fair chance that we're smarter than you know.

  6. gbru2606

    Undisclosed location??

    Why an undisclosed location? Why the sinister denial to reveal his whereabouts? Isn't that what evil regimes do?

    1. Mr_Pitiful

      Re: Undisclosed location??

      If he's just gone missing, I wouldn't hold my breath. They could say he was abducted by aliens and no one would be any wiser (Maybe Gary McKinnon). I really hope our powers that be can intervene and get him the hell out of there. After he's been released and returned to the UK, then I suggest we take off and Nuke the site from orbit! It's the only way to be sure!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Undisclosed location??

        Special rendition?

  7. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Conferences?

    Lesson 1 - Don't bother organising any international events in the USA from now on.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Conferences?

      Lesson 2 - Don't bother GOING TO any international events in the USA from now on.

    2. Blank Reg

      Re: Conferences?

      I've seen at least two conferences make the new lately because they moved out of the US.

      Trump is doing a good job of making Canadian conference facilities more money.

      1. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

        Re: Conferences?

        The Cndin ssocition of the Hering Impired would like to organize next yer's DEF CON in the underused conference centre of Nnimo, British Columbi, Cnd. Unless you prefer Ssktchewn. Or L-Bert.

      2. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: Conferences?

        Good point.

        And from my recent experiences, conferences still in the US are seeing a lot fewer foreign attendees; a lot of people aren't attending because of the problems getting the necessary visas for the States (especially students from countries where the skin colour isn't in the approved range), and because of the general 'fuck you' attitude radiating from officialdom right now.

        I've got a paper ready and I'd normally submit it to a US conference and then tack on a few days to see what has always been a fantastic place, but I think it'll end up going to a European conference purely because I might come back intact.

      3. Wayland Bronze badge

        Re: Conferences?

        In Canada there are 79 genders now not two and if you get it wrong it's the same as being Hitler.

  8. FlamingDeath Bronze badge
    Pirate

    Maybe the insecurity services are upset

    That he found their ill-thought out kill-switch.

    Stupid is, is stupid does

    Murica - land of the pirates

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Maybe the insecurity services are upset

      More probably some idiot read something and just remembered "Hutchins, WannCry, EthernalBlue, stolen, NSA" and jumped to the wrong conclusion...

      But the UK embassy/consulates are doing anything or just knelt to their next overlords?

      1. Wayland Bronze badge

        Re: Maybe the insecurity services are upset

        They used to call this Special Rendition but they just grabbed him when he was out of the country to save on jet fuel. They will still have to burn some fuel flying him to a country where they can torture him. I just hope he still gets the air miles.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maybe the insecurity services are upset

          He will get a nice new orange jumpsuit. He was lucky he wasn't shot at the same time.

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Total Meltdown

    That's the state of the USA these days.

    Unfortunately I don't think the UK is far behind.

    I shudder to think what kind of world today's kids will find themselves in.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Total Meltdown

      I shudder to think what kind of world today's kids will find themselves in.

      A paranoid one, by the look of the comments here.

      Chill, folks, don't believe everything you read on t'interwebs.

  10. Pronounce

    Typical Five Eyes Behavior

    The U.S. loves to demonize others (see, Aaron Swartz, Kim Dotcom, Ed Snowden, etc.) and use that to justify its atrocious behavior. The U.S. government plays a game of Machiavellian politics internally (states which seek government aid) and externally (countries that seek government aid). They've been doing this for nigh a hundred years. The only groups worse than the U.S. system are those who can't see that they're sheep being fleeced by the elites. Wake up people stop dealing with the Devil.

    1. LDS Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Typical Five Eyes Behavior

      I won't put Dotcom and Snowden in the same sentence....

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Typical Five Eyes Behavior

        I won't put Dotcom and Snowden in the same sentence....

        D'oh!

  11. Brent Longborough

    Borrisss!

    When's the Foreign Office going to issue a Travel Advisory for the USA?

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: Borrisss!

      Dunno - I wouldn't hold my breath, he's only recently renounced his US citizenship.

      But one story that didn't get much traction is that the NAACP has put out a travel advisory for Missouri warning black travellers about widespread racism, discrimination and intimidation by the police. That's an American civil rights organisation warning Americans about travelling in one part of America.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Borrisss!

        No change then, it's been like that for more than a hundred years.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Idiots probably thought that as he found the kill switch it was him that put it there in the first place.

    All's not right with this world and I'm not looking forward to where it's going to end. I watched that handmaids tale the other day and thought yeah that's about right.

  13. Ucalegon
    Coat

    WannaCry

    So sad for him. Makes me WannaCry.

    1. Mindfart

      Re: WannaCry

      I don't know what plebs are downvoting you, but.. you made me breathe out of my nose quite hard ;P

  14. Palpy
    Unhappy

    Accused of spreading the Kronos trojan.

    According to The Guardian, the US D o' J has issued an indictment accusing Hutchins of spreading the Kronos banking trojan sometime in 2014 or 2015.

    For what it's worth.

    I expect El Reg will update the story momentarily.

    Addendum Oh, and when I write "accused" I do NOT mean that I accept that Hutchins is guilty of anything. An accusation can be nothing but a convenient excuse for harassment.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Accused of spreading the Kronos trojan.

      Hell of a piece of timing to suddenly get the evidence of him spreading the Kronos trojan just when he visits the USA!

      Okay, obviously that was sarcasm. So the question is, if they had evidence already then why couldn't they share it with us before now. The alleged wrong-doing was a few years ago, wasn't it? So two possibilities - it's not enough to secure a conviction under UK or European law. Or they don't want to share the evidence with us and want to be able to convict him without presenting it. There are other possibilities including it's a pretext and it is to do with WannaCry. Wouldn't surprise me. But if it isn't these are the two that spring to mind.

      I suppose it's possible he bragged to the wrong person and they got evidence at the conference itself, but that seems a long shot.

      1. fajensen Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Accused of spreading the Kronos trojan.

        So the question is, if they had evidence already then why couldn't they share it with us before now.

        Maybe that's not exactly how The System works?

        If "they" are continuously casing everyone and everything, that would certainly be mass surveillance, which "their" lawyers always weasel about "them" not doing. Maybe it is even true too, the best lies are the truth with a few bits missing.

        So, perhaps, it is only legal to for the surveillance system to case an individual, when the casing is based on quite specific criteria, such as a person entering the US?

        On entry to the US, the "non-mass surveillance data" already stored on a person, "non-" because no-one looked at it yet as their lawyers has repeatedly stated, gets specifically selected and the whole package is slurped into an "AI" which then lists a range of possible crimes and their probabilities based on the data. If one or more probability exceeds a defined threshold, then the target will win a free trip to the appropriate processing facility.

        And what better place for that than the return flight? There are only a few international airports, meaning flesh-bot resources are saved.

      2. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: Accused of spreading the Kronos trojan.

        They probably waited until he was in US jurisdiction rather than embarrassing themselves again by demanding extradition with bugger/all evidence.

    2. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Accused of spreading the Kronos trojan.

      Yeah the Guardian article was much more comprehensive than the one here, which surprised me.

      And the comment above from Palpy is currently labelled as 19 Hrs ago. And the Reg article is still pretty minimal.

  15. Conrad Longmore
    FAIL

    That damned sinkhole server

    I seem to remember him Tweeting that various law enforcement agencies kept trying to shut down or seize the sinkhole server. It seems that a lot of agencies just didn't understand what was going on and were in their own little bubble.

    Funnily enough, one of my bosses offered me a trip to Black Hat / Defcon. Didn't fancy the idea much then. Fancy it less now.

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: That damned sinkhole server

      That server hosted the 'kill switch' for the underlying NSA toolkit upon which WannaCry was built. My guess is that it also inadvertently shut down a bunch of Five Eyes spyware as well.

      Someone has to swing for the NSA's incompetence and it looks like it will be Hutchins.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: That damned sinkhole server

      I heard of bosses arranging pernicious outsourcing where you get someone to 'headhunt' a member of staff so they resign and loose all employment rights and then dont last long, if at all in the new post.

      This is the logical extension where you perniciously outsink them to defcon and make up some shit for the FBI - I bet insurance would even cover your 'losses'!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And that, ladies & gentlemen ..

    .. is why I have no plans to visit the US in the future.

    I have no desire to travel to a country where a decades long prioritisation of their second amendment over mental healthcare means that every idiot can carry a gun, where the mere fact that you're breathing seems to be enough for unjust lawsuits and where law enforcement has legalised state robbery via civil asset forfeiture and still operates as if Human Rights do not exist (for starters, the list of reasons is actually longer and worse, it still keeps growing).

    It's sad to see so much potential just wasted.

    1. VulcanV5

      Re: And that, ladies & gentlemen ..

      Fair's fair: mental healthcare in the USA is better resourced and prioritised than it ever has been. Not too long ago, the deranged and dysfunctional were shunned by Society and forced to exist in cardboard boxes beneath railroad and highway bridges. Now, however, Society reaches out to such individuals and, in the case of the most severely incapacitated, provides attractive accommodation in Washington and a salary too.

    2. PaulFrederick

      Re: And that, ladies & gentlemen ..

      Don't worry. You're not missed here.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a US citizen and resident, I'm appalled by what this country is becoming.

    This is a side effect of people voting against their enlightened self interest.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Gritzwally Philbin

      Burn, baby burn..

      "This is a side effect of people voting against their enlightened self interest."

      THAT is the exact arrogance that got Trump elected. You or I have zero idea what the 'enlightened self-interest' of a Trump supporter is.. hell, THEY have no idea, though I may have a clue. They voted for the lesser of two evils and they voted for a change - regardless of how shitty and terrifying it is.

      I voted Trump because, well fuck the Republicans. They are eating the shit-sandwich they've served to the working poor (of which I've been all my life and Trump changes ZERO aspects of the improvidence in it - and let's be real now.. the Democrats have in reality done fuck all themselves.) for decades and it's so fucking fun to watch the sorry old cocksuckers twist as Trump attacks everyone.

      Bring on the chaos - it's what most poor in America have been dealing with for a long, long time. I think most of the Trump supporters are rather like myself.. just put in the worst candidate possible and watch Washington DC eat itself. (I know no one that actually thinks/thought he'd be a good president.. but pretty much most who voted for him knew he'd be a shitty one)

      The Republicans getting the political fiasco they deserve? Couldn't happen to better people.. and it's a wondrous show. There is no self-interest left at this point, it's just schadenfreude, and it's delicious.

      1. Vic

        Re: Burn, baby burn..

        I know no one that actually thinks/thought he'd be a good president

        Big John will be along real soon...

        Vic.

      2. small and stupid

        Re: Burn, baby burn..

        "He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Burn, baby burn..

          "He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."

          So those alarm clock with springs that would never, ever go back in, and that camera.. All unwise? Darn.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Burn, baby burn..

        There is no self-interest left at this point, it's just schadenfreude, and it's delicious.

        I cannot laugh at people being thrown into misery and poverty because they're stupid, however much that is the vogue. This is the potential of a whole country wasted by politicians and thieves (but I repeat myself), and I find it depressing. There is so much good the US could do it got its act together, but as far as I can tell, the politicians in Washington seem determined from letting that ever happen.

        The problem with shaking things up by voting in Trump is that he got 4 full years to shake, and I fear that's too long. Shaking up is good, but doing it by earthquake was not a good idea. It's time to stop this, but also send a message to politicians of both sides: overcropping the land destroys future returns, you need to leave enough on the table to ensure the economy recovers.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Burn, baby burn..

        "You or I have zero idea what the 'enlightened self-interest' of a Trump supporter is.. hell, THEY have no idea"

        Do you know what 'enlightened' means?

    3. PaulFrederick

      Then leave.

  19. John Sager

    I'll probably get downvoted for this but what the hell. I've been to the US countless times over the last 30 years both on business and vacations. I have never had any hassle from either the guys on immigration or the customs guys though I did once get asked a domain knowledge question by immigration related to the purpose of the visit. And I'll be going there soon on vacation. It's true that this time I'm taking a clean laptop rather than my normal one but that's the only concession I'm making to their increased paranoia. I would probably be more trepidacious if it were my first visit though, as they would have no previous history.

    Having said all that, I hope the guy gets it sorted PDQ, though I wonder if there is more to this than 'security guy gets nabbed by the Feds for no apparent reason'

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Holmes

      @ John Sager

      Let me guess... you're white... not a muslim and you don't have a foreign sounding name ?

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      I have never crashed my car, so haven't needed a seat belt. Seat belts are overrated junk. Don't use them.

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Isn't it sad how John shrugs off needing a fresh laptop as if it's understandable that someone would go through all your personal stuff without a warrant just because you are on holiday?

      John, next time, take the usual family laptop, with all the photos of the wife and kids, and bank statements. etc. Then, refuse them access to said laptop without a warrant, then report back to us on your experience!

      Terrorists my arse. If you had dodgy files to send to America, you wouldn't carry them on your laptop..

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Good luck with that.

      Having a Prof flying in with a very delicate item of research kit stopped, questioned for hours, told "I can deny you entry now, and for the rest of your life" by one of the goons was bad enough. I just wish I'd been there when his DARPA minder assisted by local law enforcement demanded access to him, having been waiting for him in the arrivals lounge for said number of hours plus 1. The goons tried and tried, but DARPA plus the DoD sending a senior officer and the threat of the Army being called in trumped them. He was escorted personally to the plane flying out, and warned to fly gray air (US Air Force) next time as the goons and their 'system' have long memories, fine for a research visit, a bit shite for holidays though... And that was during Obama's time.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The indictment of your hero...

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3912520-Marcus-Hutchinson-Indictment.html

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and no doubt the Feebs will be

      telling the world from the steps of the courthouse that they will be pressing for the maximum sentence of 300years (or more) for this apparently heinious crime.

      Welcome to Trumps USA, Paranoia central.

      1. Adam 1 Silver badge

        Re: and no doubt the Feebs will be

        300 years imprisonment? Clearly an unhinged danger to society. Not like those gamblers benevolent bankers from a decade back. It's great they're still around.

    2. Palpy
      Pint

      Good info.

      Again, innocent until proven guilty and all. But good to see citizen reportage.

      1. Argus Tuft

        Re: Good info.

        I know that's the normal expression, but I always thought it was "innocent UNLESS proven guilty"

        'Until' kind of has a presumption of guilt... (you're guilty dang it and we're going to hang you just as soon as we can)

        1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Good info.

          "innocent UNLESS proven guilty"

          Actually, neither Unless nor Until is correct. In both UK and US law, the actual law states that the legal process must "Proceed from an presumption of innocence". Subtle alteration in the wording, but amounts to the same thing.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good info.

        Again, innocent until proven guilty and all

        Not in the press :(. That said, I suspect their antennae went up when he was so quick to take WannaCry apart and stop it, I don't have enough facts to have an opinion either way.

        Until there is more information I have to consider him innocent. I don't like newspapers calling him Wannacry "hero" because that clearly hints they're setting up a fall from grace story if a court finds him guilty, like buzzards circling a soon to be corps in the desert.

    3. Peter 26

      Hmm, some quite specific charges there. Looks like he is just being charged with creating it and updating it. Someone else is being charged with trying to sell it/advertise it on forums. I wonder what information they have that says he created it, unless they have nabbed the other person?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The indictment of your hero

      "Murkin" here: It's a conspiracy indictment, the guy is cooked. If he had lived as a silent member of a holy order, he could still be guilty in the US courts because he "associated" with others. Conspiracy seems to be the charge we file when you can't convict on any other facts, and only that you have "associated" with any other person is in itself the crime. You end up having to try to prove your innocence, sort of like the witch trials: if you drown, you were innocent, oh, too bad.

      1. G Olson

        Re: Conspiracy is the key

        From the indictment, Marcus Hutchins is listed not as primary but subordinate to the other "conspirator". This tells me the Feds really want the guy who marketed and sold the malware. They want to pressure Marcus to identify the other "conspirator".

        Marcus has something they want. Looks like leverage to me for a release.

  21. a_a
  22. ITnoob

    And not a peep from Amber "necessary hashtags" Rudd.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drunk

    My money is on "Drunk guy arrested on flight from LV Airport". Unless he was also trying some silly nonsense with the Janet planes.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    USA and North Korea, two places any sensible person must actively avoid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Coming up next: UK, if you don't have a UK passport (at least, that's what it seems like with Brexit).

  25. DougS Silver badge

    I wish I could defend my country

    But I really can't. I also wish I could blame Trump for this, but I really can't because it started well before he even thought about running.

    Now it is possible this arrest is legitimate so I think there's a bit of 'rush to judgment' here, but regardless of that you have to accept that it is quite possible he's being arrested on bogus charges. Perhaps as a pretext to get some info they think he has, or because he wasn't properly cowed and submissive for the power mad TSA dweebs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wish I could defend my country

      You can. Keep all of this in mind the next time you vote.

      It's no joke: the country depends on people continuing to do the right thing in the face of abject stupidity and be vocal about the reasons why.

      The US not the orange guy or his cronies. It's all the other people.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: I wish I could defend my country

        And who exactly would I vote for to make this change? Clinton and Trump are identical in this respect. I voted for neither, but unfortunately the third party candidates have no chance because the system is rigged for a two party system and the republicans and democrats will never support a constitutional amendment that would be required to fix this, because they would be hurt by it - they will present a united front in favor of the two party system.

        The dilemma is the same for my congressman and senators.

  26. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Hell... I live here in the States and I'm sweating things and I'm not in "Security". It's a race or so it seems to the bottom. I'm wondering which country will lower the bar next... ?

    Don't get too smug those of you in Blighty... I think the next step to the bottom in now for your leaders. We'll come up with something even more insane but then you'll get your shot again. Seems to be the way this race is going.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Indeed. Trump has made things difficult for us, but I'm sure May and Rudd will once again fly the British flag again soon!

  27. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Pint

    Genuine question

    Can Big John or Bombastic Bob please explain to me how capitalism is superior to "lefty lunacy" or "liberalism" when the USA has the biggest national debt in the known universe.

    ====> beer if your answer is good

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Genuine question

      Sorry, not in this forum, it's off topic

      I'm glad I waited to comment on the article, though. Sounds like the Feds may have some legit reason for questioning "our hero" (re: new article mentioned at the end in an update to this one)

      but if you want more on capitalism, etc. there are smarter people than me who have done an excellent job of making this point. I suggest Prof. Walter Williams from George Mason University as a good start.

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Genuine question

      What part of that don't you understand? It's the result of all of that left lunacy... the national debt of the US doubled in Obama's years, and he's a lefty. We have far too much socialism and too little capitalism (not crony capitalism... the real thing).

    3. fajensen Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Genuine question

      Easy - Debt is an Asset to the Lender. From the US perspective, their vastly superior economic policies just produce more of an asset that "The Market" wants to buy (must buy, if they want oil and like to not become "a regime", because everyone knows what happens to a regime, but, ... details ... proper people LIKE the USD).

      Having a huge, ginourmous, debt is only a problem if you have to pay it back or service it. With ZIRP the service problem is finally fixed once and for all. With control of the issuing of the denomination currency, you can always print enough money to pay it back, which solves that problem.

      So, given that we are the happy lenders, why should the US NOT run up as huge a debt as possible and blow it on nice things like natural resources, political influence, Ukrainian hookers and drugs?

      It's the *rational* thing to do!

    4. PaulFrederick

      Re: Genuine question

      We have the biggest debt because we also have the biggest economy. We're the richest. It is as simple as that. We got it because institutions have determined that we're worth it. Those that can do.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Genuine question

        We have the biggest debt because we also have the biggest economy. We're the richest. It is as simple as that. We got it because institutions have determined that we're worth it. Those that can do.

        It appears some people have a hard time spotting sarcasm :).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Genuine question

        Where are you in the debt per capita stakes?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Genuine question

      Can Big John or Bombastic Bob please explain to me how capitalism is superior to "lefty lunacy" or "liberalism" when the USA has the biggest national debt in the known universe.

      If you have the right friends it's easier to fleece the peasants? Debt is not your problem because you can just move when things go wrong. In the left system you still have to fight off loonies that talk about sharing and common good as if that was ever the actual aim, that's never a problem with capitalism.

      For the record and for the sarcasm impaired, I'm being sarcastic here.

  28. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    USA is not really a normal functioning society any longer. POS state now.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suspicion of creating bank-account-raiding malware Kronos

    I am smelling a scapegoat. It has a bit of the NS aroma.

    See here:

    New Trojan from the Russian Underground

    Not sure what is happening. Getting 404 much of the time. May be some caching. I do have a screen grab.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Screen scrape

    New Trojan from the Russian Underground

    While major players like Zeus, Gozi, Citadel and other advanced financial malware dominate the malware threat landscape, newcomers and challengers always try to get a share of the cyber crime market. One such new malware that was recently made available for purchase in a Russian underground forum is the Kronos malware. With a $7,000 price tag, this malware offers multiple modules for evading detection and analysis as well as an option to test the malware for a week prior to buying it.

    https://securityintelligence.com/the-father-of-zeus-kronos-malware-discovered/

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    more scrape

    Read a translation of the original text from Russian underground forum

    I present you a new banking Trojan

    Compatible with 64 and 32bit rootkit Trojan is equipped with the tools to give you successful banking actions.Formgrabber: Works on Chrome, IE, FF in latest versions. Works on the majority of older versions as well. Steals logs from each website Webinjects: Works on latest Chrome, IE, FF, latest and majority of older versions. Injections are in Zeus config format, so it’s easy to transfer the config from one another.32 and 64bit Ring3 rootkit: The Trojan also has a ring 3 rootkit that defends it from other Trojans.

    Proactive Bypass: The Trojan uses an undetected injection method to work in a secure process and bypass proactive anti-virus protections. Encrypted Communication: Connection between bot and panel is encrypted to protect against sniffers. Usermode Sandbox and rootkit bypass: The Trojan is able to bypass any hook in usermode functions which bypasses rootkits or sandboxes which use these hooks.

    1000$ a week of testing. The server will be hosted only for you. You need just a domain or a payment including the domain fee. You’ll have full access to the C&C, without any limits or restrictions during test mode.7000$ Lifetime product license, free updates and bug removals. New modules will not be free , and you will need to pay additionally. We accept Perfect Money, Bitcoin, WMZ, BTC-E.comCurrently the Trojan is written in its fullest. Next week we will have tests and bug fixing, then release. Pre-ordering the Trojan will give you a discount.

  33. Perry the platypus

    You never know

    Ok so firstly he definitely broke the law... you may not be aware of this but it's illegal to use a gun here in the USA unless you are at least a permanent resident aka green card holder even in a gun club / shooting range. I know as I tried once before I had a green card.

    Secondly, poacher come game keeper game keeper come poacher who knows... innocent till proven guilty but there is due process here and as there are plenty of treaties between uk and USA I'm sure it will shake out.

    I also think the paranoia about American madness is unnecessary, I seem to remember we've just gone through riots in Germany ? Anyone can pick wholes in any country because none of us are perfect.

    1. GrapeBunch Bronze badge
      Headmaster

      Re: You never know

      "Anyone can pick wholes in any country because none of us are perfect."

      I don't have the heart to Grammar-Nazi this, even though it's usually worth a bunch of upvotes.

      Fully Completely is the title of a song and album by The Tragically Hip from 1992.

      We all know about Assange and Snowden and Manning. But it *is* possible that the next whistle-blower will seek to contact an "untouchable" foreign hero to get the precious info out of the country. Or is that just in Hollywood movies?

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: You never know

      "I also think the paranoia about American madness is unnecessary"

      What state of mind should one have then regarding the American madness, in your opinion?

      I agree that paranoia isn't correct, as it implies that the madness isn't real.

      I, personally, feel more of a growing concern that the "free" aren't so free, and the "world leader" is only leading in greed and stupidity.

    3. PaulFrederick

      Re: You never know

      Care to share this using a firearm in the USA resident requirement statue? I can't find it anywhere. I've never heard of anything like it. It sounds downright unAmerican to me in fact. Especially on a private range. In Nevada you can fire fully automatic weapons on a range. Some 9 year old girl had some trouble with that there. So you are talking about a state that's handing 9 year old girls machine guns. That wasn't even the problem! It was who she ended up shooting that was. That occurred in Las Vegas. But if she hadn't hit anyone it'd have all been good then too. Now you're suggesting that a foreigner is going to have difficulties? Bud we'd let our dogs shoot here, if we could train them to.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trump + 2

    I won't travel to The Land of the Free (*) until Trump is thrown out of office + at least 2 full years.

    * conditions apply

    1. PaulFrederick

      Re: Trump + 2

      It is only the Land of the Free for the Home of the Brave. So you are automatically disqualified because you're obviously a coward.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trump + 2

        Braves were American Indians. what are you?

  35. Daniel B.
    Meh

    Welp

    This kinda makes me feel better I didn't make it to DEFCON25. But damn, this has all the hallmarks of sloppy investigation. Why would a malware author willingly travel into the US?

    1. PaulFrederick

      Re: Welp

      Why would a malware author willingly travel into the US?

      Why to drum up business of course. You have to make the rounds. He also thought he was too clever to get caught. He may have miscalculated a bit there.

  36. wyatt

    DEFCON attendees won't be too happy about this I'd imagine, will this prompt the organisers to look for a new venue? I hope that there is no truth in the charges against him, not that this makes any difference in a number of countries..

  37. ibchristian

    ...no worries...

    I am a US citizen, yet when I recently attempted to purchase a small and compact firearm (for personal protection purposes), was met with a "Delayed" status from the FBI (background checks are mandatory btw), suggesting that I am something less than a law-abiding citizen. Upon further inquiry, my status has been upgraded to "Appeal" which to me indicates some further interest into my background. Aside from the compulsory DUI from 20 years ago (current age withheld), I have recently served overseas (read Middle East) and posses a SECRET security clearance, which is still valid as far as I know... so I'm thinking that there's some newbys in the AGENCY that are maybe trying to make a name for themselves... just sayin'... FFS???

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How things have changed...

    I used to read the Registers comments and we would have all been called tin foil hatters.

    A revent revisit and I am very glad to see how so many now see the truth.

    I'm pretty sure the problem/story goes much deeper, any speculation welcome.

  39. txt3rob

    Here is all the charges he faces https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3912524-Kronos-Indictment-R.html

  40. txt3rob

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3912524-Kronos-Indictment-R.html

    this is his charges and it blanks out the co person accused of using it.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A new shade of hat?

    Black and white stripes?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    July 2014 to July 2015

    So the paperwork says he committed the offence in Wisconsin and elsewhere sometime between July 2015 and July 2015 but the paperwork to detain him was only filed on the 12th of July this year? Not only is that remarkably vague but smacks of the US authorities knowing they had insufficient evidence to go for extradition, even with our (UK) lapdog approach to relations with the US, so they held off until he was in the country before filing papers. As in waited until he had little or no hope of avoiding arrest before accusing him of a crime.

    Nice.

    1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

      Re: July 2014 to July 2015

      Its worth noting that some of the charges relate to the advertisement and sale of the malware on alphabay. Its possible the evidence was only recently discovered.

  43. Tronald Dump

    Plea bargain!

    40 years or 3 years if you sing.

    But I dun nuffink!

    Your choice to gamble......

  44. waldo kitty
    Holmes

    So, who really stole MalwareTech's wallet in Vegas?

    he slept in the lobby because his phone was dead and his wallet had been stolen... while he slept, someone was kind enough to charge his phone for him... he took the phone with a 5% charge and called Uber to take him back to where he was staying... gotta wonder, now, who really stole his wallet... he'd been in Vegas for over a week driving high end rental cars, visiting shooting ranges, and doing other touristy things... if the FBI knew who he was, they could have nabbed him at any time before he was heading home... the whole thing reeks of shite...

  45. Sanctimonious Prick
    Black Helicopters

    Excuse Me...

    I just need to chuck on my tin foil hat for a few moments...

    What was the killswitch domain for Stuxnet?

    :)

  46. excelpest2002
    Mushroom

    hi to all , if the gov keep arresting the guys who keep it real nobody will be a white hat all will not be grey either it will all go blak hat correct ?

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