back to article WannaCry reverse-engineer Marcus Hutchins hit with fresh charges

WannaCry ransomware killswitch hero* Marcus Hutchins faces fresh charges in relation to separate malware the security researcher is alleged to have created. Hutchins, a British citizen, has been held in the US since August last year, after visiting the Black Hat and DEF CON security conferences in Las Vegas. He was collared at …

  1. JassMan Silver badge

    Who do you trust?

    He is also accused of lying to the FBI by "knowingly and wilfully" making a "materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement" when he was arrested on 2 August, by stating "he did not know his computer code was part of Kronos until he reverse-engineered the malware some time in 2016".

    The FBI had better have some indisputable proof of that, as their case is already looking very shaky considering that the recorded time of him being read his miranda rights were changed twice to fit with the time he was in a stairwell with no surveillance coverage. Also that the interview recording shows that he was not told he was being charged until half an hour into his interview with the beginning missing because they had to "manually" start the "broken" recorder. If I was on the jury, I know who I would believe at this moment in time. Besides which, if the code was pirated how can anyone be responsible for the actions another person.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who do you trust?

      The FBI had better have some indisputable proof of that,

      Err... you are mistaking it to civilized countries.

      In civilized countries a charge sheet or its equivalent is handed in COURT. You have to demonstrate to a judge that there is enough material to charge a person and it is the court which hands the charge sheet. This is the case in the UK and it is the case in Napoleonic law which governs most of the developed world.

      In less civilized countries charges are filed by a prosecutor, there is no limitation to what they can pile up and they can after that pull out one or more of them prior to trial. This (as openly demonstrated by USA judicial system on a daily basis) is open to abuse. It goes in front of a judge only if the defence files a motion to dismiss which takes time and money.

      1. Shades

        Re: Who do you trust?

        "In civilized countries a charge sheet or its equivalent is handed in COURT. You have to demonstrate to a judge that there is enough material to charge a person and it is the court which hands the charge sheet. This is the case in the UK [...].

        In less civilized countries charges are filed by a prosecutor,"

        I'm not entirely convinced this is correct; for the UK at least. I could be wrong but If the police feel there is enough evidence that you have committed a crime, particularly in open-and-shut cases (like a positive breathaliser result for instance) or something they have witnessed themselves, they can charge you without consulting any other agency or court. If they are not sure they have enough evidence to charge someone they consult with the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) to gauge the chances of a successful prosecution with what evidence they do have. If the CPS feel there is, again, its the police that charge you.

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: Who do you trust?

          " for the UK at least. I could be wrong but"

          You're correct. In England and Wales the police charge, either on their own or after having taken advice from the CPS.

          The scenario outlined here could easily have happened in England too if further evidence had come to light.

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        3. Tom Paine Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Who do you trust?

          I thought you were wrong, but you were right. Thanks!

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Prosecution_Service#Charging_decisions

        4. 5p0ng3b0b

          Re: Who do you trust?

          CPS not bound by the the peelian principles and devised as a workaround for 5 and 8.

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        6. oldfartuk

          Re: Who do you trust?

          The CPS tell the Police what to charge you with, based on what they think they can win on the supplied evidence. Its a sort of game of poker, except you are the betting chip.

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      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who do you trust?

        I don't think Tommy Robinson would agree with you.

        1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: Who do you trust?

          "I don't think Tommy Robinson would agree with you."

          He fucked with a trial. Twice. After being convicted the first time, got a suspended sentence and told to stay away from court. Then did it again.

          Contempt of court is a serious offence. Seen an ex-cop do it deliberately (twice) to cause a mistrial, and then get four years for perverting the course of justice.

          What he was doing (filming defendants and publishing their details) can cause a mistrial. Thus if you want the accused to get convicted the last thing you want to do is allow the to get off on a technicality.

          I don't understand why he gets any sympathy from anyone. He's essentially trying to allow some real scum bags off the hook, then blame the system for locking him up and not them.

          The trials he is "reporting" on will get a bunch of media attention once they conclude, based on what happened with the other child grooming cases. I would also expect that while many of those accused will be convicted, there will be a few who are not, or at least not on the most serious of charges.

          Of course, he won't get any attention that way. Hence why he's getting himself arrested, so he can claim he's being oppressed.

          The right to a fair trial and presumption of innocence is something that extends to all people. We can't just wash our hands off it when the crime (or the colour of the defendant) offends us.

          Once they've had that, and a court has found them guilty, then he can go all "journalist" on them. He can record and write all he likes, just not publish until the end of the trial. He could even have detailed the allegations *before* the trial started, but that's something an actual journalist might do.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who do you trust?

        umm in the UK they can charge and take you to court, then drop, change and add charges on a daily basis until they find a loophole or uncovered subject in your carefully prepared defence. The UK courts allows the abuse of both evidence rules by the CPS and Bail rules by the police. I personally have seen both occurring.Make no mistake, the UK legal system is just as bent and crooked as the US one.

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: Who do you trust?

          > Make no mistake, the UK legal system is just as bent and crooked as the US one.

          And now, of course, severely under-resourced. If you need a duty solicitor you might be lucky to find one, and may end up sat in custody for 20 odd hours while they try to arrange transport for the custody hearing because the local court has been closed.

          The american legal system is a heap of shite, but you're right in that ours really isn't far behind in many different ways

          1. Plus_Ca_Change

            Re: Who do you trust?

            Oh dear that rings true - the wretched UK following the US "all public spending is a dirty work of the Devil" b**loc**. Oh, except where there are juicy contracts to be had ...

    2. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: Who do you trust?

      Neither of them.

      I don't know enough about the case, but it wouldn't surprise me to see either:

      - trumped up charges being made (no pun intended r.e. America)

      - a "security researcher" with a foot both sides of the line

      or, you know, both.

      As to whether any of that applies here? I don't know, and I'm going to leave judgement to those who do know more, and hope that they get it right.

      1. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ
        Pirate

        Re: Who do you trust?

        - a "security researcher" with a foot both sides of the line

        I doubt there are many people who work with computers who have not donned both a black and white hat, more so those working in security research.... how many security researchers start their career while a teenager with a harmless crack !!

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Who do you trust?

          I doubt there are many people who work with computers who have not donned both a black and white hat

          You could be right. I worked for years as a data recovery engineer and software developer. We also wrote forensic software and the company was a major player in computer forensics throughout the 90s and early 00s.

          But while at Polytechnic in the 80s I wrote a virus for CP/M. I don't think anyone's going to want to bring charges about that though :)

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Who do you trust?

      "If I was on the jury, I know who I would believe at this moment in time."

      If you were on the jury, you would have something that none of us have right now -- actual evidence and information.

      At this moment, I don't believe (or disbelieve) either of them. I know nothing outside of what's appeared in the press, and none of that amounts to anything more than what each side is claiming to be true.

    4. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: Who do you trust?

      "If I was on the jury"

      If you were in the jury pool, one side or the other would do their utmost to have you rejected. You appear to know something about technology and that would hinder some attorney's ability to submit garbage into evidence and have it accepted unquestioned.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        "If I was on the jury"

        They would have him ejected because he's already formed an opinion about the case, which defeats the whole point of a "fair and impartial" jury. Now in a high profile case like say 9/11 finding someone who doesn't have an opinion formed may be difficult, but in a case like this that probably 99% of Americans have not heard of, it is pretty easy to toss people out of the pool who already have their minds made up.

      2. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

        Re: Who do you trust?

        You appear to know something about technology and that would hinder some attorney's ability to submit garbage into evidence and have it accepted unquestioned.

        And my naive idealism clings, against all hope, to the completely unrealistic notion that one should be judged "by a jury of one's peers", which in this case would imply, IMHO, inclusion of at least a couple of qualified security researchers who could judge from experience where the aforementioned "fence" stands.

        1. Agamemnon

          Re: Who do you trust?

          The "Jury Of One's Peers" ... Interesting game that one.

          If that were the case, I would be personally judged by None Less than YOU people in any given situation I could think of. I would Oddly Be OK WITH THAT (you blighters ain't so bad).

          That's just not reality.

          I always though plumbers should be judged by plumbers. Jury of your Peers, right there in the name.

          A plumber isn't going to have a Vastly different worldview than we do (our industry moves a lot of shit too) but there's Enough of a difference. A hair-stylist might have a different value-system too. A retiree judging me for dropping a site by hacking it to shut it's fucking bot-net up at 0300 is completely reasonable to some of us but "Bob" isn't going to grok the subtleties and nuances of Responsible Disclosure, and vendor neglection, etc, etc...when I just kick down the damned door and turn off The Bad because I TRIED the "Proper Route", but my New Solution is "Illegal". Why? That bot-net server is ALSO illegal and don't see Law Enforcement, or the owner, so we play these games.

          Waste of bloody time when we could be actually fixing things.

    5. FozzyBear Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Who do you trust?

      Yep Ok I know where this is going.

      When law enforcement add a charge of "knowingly deceived or make false statement or lie to.. Police". There are only two circumstances this happens. The first is the police wasted an extraordinary amount of time investigating a bullshit complaint from an individual and they are now charging the individual that made the complaint.

      The second is, it is known as a back up charge. A charge added to the original list of offences, which they know that will get thrown out of court and crucified by the magistrate. Leaving them open to a civil suit of false prosecution. The Back up charge is a catch all. Inevitably the person they charge is found guilty or plea guilty to it whilst all the original charges are dropped **. They cop a deferred sentence, the victim actually walking away thinking they are a winner.

      All the while the cops are walking away having dodged a bullet, a grilling from the court. A massive law suit and also possibly being prosecuted themselves for abuse of power (illegal arrest/detention) .

      ** In Australia you cannot proceed with a law suit if you were found guilty of just one offence in the list of charges that resulted from the original arrest. Well you can but you automatically lose.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: Who do you trust?

        Indeed so. The cases of Martha Stewart, Michael Flynn, and George Papadopolous spring readily to mind, and there doubtless are many, many others. The potential for such charges, which need not be about statements intended to deceive, explain why the best policy if detained and questioned by police is to say nothing beyond what is legally required. In the US, and I suspect in most countries where English law was the starting point, that doesn't go beyond name.

        And, of course, request an attorney be present for any questioning and never waive Miranda (US) or comparable rights even momentarily.

        1. MarkW99

          Re: Who do you trust?

          Add to that list George Brown, one of the Merrill Lynch bankers jailed for the Nigerian barge case. The four were released on appeal after the judge decided that the "fraud" for which they were convicted wasn't actually a crime under US law, but Brown was arrested charged and convicted of lying to the FBI when in practice the worst that could be said of Brown's testimony was that it was imprecise open to interpretation. Unfortunately for Brown the FBI didn't interpret his statement the way he meant it.

      2. VulcanV5

        Re: Who do you trust?

        @ Fozzybear: What are you trying to say? If you mean that an individual found not guilty of false charges is also somehow in some mysterious way automatically found guilty of lying to the police, that makes no sense at all: an accusation of lying goes to the heart of any prosecution's attack on an accused's credibility. Your weird contention that it's a 'back up charge' is as much a mystery as your claim that individuals found guilty of lying are found not guilty of everything else. But perhaps they do things differently in Australia??

        1. FozzyBear Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Who do you trust?

          @vulcan95.

          No I am saying that adding a charge of lying to Police is one of those charges that are VERY easy to prove in court. It is a back up charge, a safety net for the prosecution. In A similar scenario where a person is charged with Murder 1st degree and manslaughter. The Murder charge has a higher burden of prove, therefore the manslaughter charge is added as a back up charge. During the trial if you can prove the defendant killed the victim but cannot prove premeditation the defendant would walk a free person if only charged with Murder 1st Degree. The Manslaughter charge is a backup, therefore the defendant would be found not guilty or murder but guilty of manslaughter

          Similar scenario here, adding this charge this late in the game means they realise they are highly likely to lose at trail on the existing charges, this charge being so easy to prove in court saves the prosecution of possibility of a civil suit

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      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re:I don't trust Hutchins

        So you believe the fbi?

        Sucker

        1. Agamemnon

          Re: Re:I don't trust Hutchins

          Nobody Believes the FBI, we just nod and smile.

      2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Who do you trust?

        @Anonymous Coward

        "How long before we hear the "ass burgers defence"

        I'm on the autism spectrum, with a hint of Asperger's. So screw you for using such a derisory term.

        Oh, and I do a bit of security and compliance work. Seems we're drawn to it. Oh, and screw you.

    7. jabuzz

      Re: Who do you trust?

      If this where in the UK that evidence would not even make it to a jury. Under the Police And Criminal Evidence Act otherwise known as PACE it would all be inadmissible. If the Crown Prosecution Service where daft enough to even try and use it the defence barrister would object, the jury would be sent out (so as not to be prejudiced) there would be arguments before the judge who would then rule the evidence was inadmissible.

      That said it was not always like this in the UK...

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The Microsoft cyber attack" - recent documentary

      This recent documentary, The Microsoft cyber attack, is enlightening regarding their current and ongoing practices in lobbying. It's a documentary from Germany's international public broadcaster DW.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wGLS2rSQPQ

      "In May 2017, hundreds of thousands of computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems were disabled by the WannaCry cyber attack. How could a single malware program simultaneously cripple companies, hospitals and even government intelligence services all around the globe? Microsoft Windows software programs proved to be their common Achilles heel..."

      1. Anne-Lise Pasch

        Re: "The Microsoft cyber attack" - recent documentary

        "Microsoft Windows software programs proved to be their common Achilles heel"

        They all had unsecured operating systems exposed to the internet, and were mostly monolithic organisations without seperated internal vpns or security mechanisms in place. But that doesn't make for a snappy headline.

        1. Plus_Ca_Change

          Re: "The Microsoft cyber attack" - recent documentary

          I heard a credible one: that the NHS (parts of it anyway) were vulnerable because of XP computers which had out-of-date protection; despite the fact that the teams who support the kit applied to get paid-for Microsoft protection funded. But funding was cancelled or blocked by guess who? ........

          Step forward the Minister for Rhyming slang : J. Hunt.

          As ever, Follow the Money. (BTW am I right to think that this "attack" wasn't on the NHS per se, just another oh-I'm-so-clever malware epidemic where NHS was the most public victim ?)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is it...

    ...with this complete inability on the part of a huge number of Americans, from the POTUS down, to accept that they are in the wrong, apologise and move on gracefully?

    Instead they keep trying to invent new, and ever wilder, claims to try and prove themselves right; the main upshot of which is to cause much eye-rolling and comments of "Really?!" from the RotW

    1. ffeog

      Re: What is it...

      Presumably, having been shown to be wrong beyond any reasonable doubt, the FBI now need to find retroactive justification by getting their victim to seek to plea bargain (on the reasonable chance there is a selected jury that knows squat about computers but buys into the idea the evil English guy sat before them is trying to make their computers kill them, so says the well-paid besuited prosecutor), which apart from rational risk reduction, is a similacrum for guilt in the American euphemistically-misnamed 'justice' system.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: What is it...

        I suggest you look up American exceptionalism.

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          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            2. Shugyosha

              Re: What is it...

              I hope all the down votes misinterpreted your comment, and don't realise that you were referring to that nasty piece of anti-Semitism in John Sander's post:

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_parentheses

              1. Daniel Garcia 2

                Re: What is it...

                I confess,i did misinterpreted, as i can tell you is the first time i hear/read about the Triple parentheses issue. Those Alt-retards cannot stop to look for ways to do "crypto-racist" stuff.

                1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

                  Re: What is it...@Daniel Garcia 2

                  I see the mods are now on the case. I believe you can "unvote" your original downvote of @GrumpenKraut.

                  Though in a way it is nice to know that many El Reg readers haven't come across the triple brackets Jewish conspiracy to run the world Breitbart thing. Even though at least one person seems to think that @GK shouldn't even be allowed to criticise anti-Semitism (if the post isn't deleted yet).

                  Marx was right in criticising Hegel; historical events and great men do occur twice in history, once as tragedy and then once as farce. Let's hope Marx was right and Bannon proves farcical.

              2. Intractable Potsherd

                Re: What is it... @Shugyosha

                I didn't know about the significance of triple parentheses until now (in fact, I don't recall having seen it before), but I had downvoted GumpenKraut based on what seemed to be unwarranted anger. I've corrected that to an upvote, and thank you for giving me an opportunity to learn something.

                1. Alan Johnson

                  Re: What is it... @Shugyosha

                  "I didn't know about the significance of triple parentheses until now (in fact, I don't recall having seen it before), but I had downvoted GumpenKraut based on what seemed to be unwarranted anger. I've corrected that to an upvote, and thank you for giving me an opportunity to learn something."

                  Please do not upvote GrumpenKraut. The original comment was in no way anti-semitic simply referring to american exceptionalism with no parenthesis. GrumpenKraut misattributed it and misrepresented it by adding brackets to falsely claim it was anti-semitic for motives which are his own but are possibly to supress criticism of american attitudes.

                  We should not allow a triple bracket to become associated with anti-semitism as opposed to a rather over the top way of emphasising a word or its previous coventional use as representing hugs. I have never seen this use before.

                  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                    Re: What is it... @Shugyosha

                    There was a comment by John Sanders, since removed by moderators wielding the Ban Hammer, that added the triple parenthesis. GrumpenKraut was, I believe, responding to said comment, not mine.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Sincere apologies to @GrumpenKraut ; You *were* quoting John Sanders, I was wrong.

                      @Aladdin Sane; @GrumpenKraut;

                      As the AC who posted this comment... my apologies to GrumpenKraut.

                      Now that it's been pointed out, I can see that there is a deleted comment.

                      And I'm entirely willing to take Aladdin Sane's word for it that this was John Sanders misquoting him. For the simple reason I've just come across him doing the exact same thing in another thread- i.e. taking someone else's comment and adding anti-semitic parentheses round it. (#)

                      So, yes- GrumpenKraut *was* (in turn) quoting John Sanders' racism/trolling/whatever-the-intent distortion of the original comment and *Sanders* was the one that intentionally tried to add the anti-semitic slant to Aladdin Sane's original post.

                      John Sanders *can* indeed shove his racist shit where the sun don't shine.

                      (#) I won't link it here. I suspect it will probably be deleted (##) for the same reason, and I'm not sure what the attitude of the mods would be if I did link it. (Though if the comment was removed, the link would presumably break anyway).

                      (##) EDIT: ....aaaaand it's already gone before the ten minute editing deadline on this comment expired(!)

                      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                        Re: Sincere apologies to @GrumpenKraut ; You *were* quoting John Sanders, I was wrong.

                        No worries my dude, these things happen.

                      2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
                        Thumb Up

                        Re: Sincere apologies to @GrumpenKraut ; You *were* quoting John Sanders, I was wrong.

                        No worries. Thanks for the clarification.

                    2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

                      Re: What is it... @Shugyosha

                      @Aladdin Sane

                      > GrumpenKraut was, I believe, responding to said comment, not mine.

                      That is correct, thanks for pointing out.

                  2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: What is it... @Shugyosha

                    "We should not allow a triple bracket to become associated with anti-semitism as opposed to a rather over the top way of emphasising a word or its previous coventional use as representing hugs. I have never seen this use before."

                    (((I agree!!))) - It took *years* to reclaim the Union Flag from the far right extremists such as the National Front once they appropriated it for their own uses. I'd not normally use three sets of parenthesis normally anyway, but "inventing" an anti-semtic meaning to it's use needs to be stamped out. Let them say what they mean if they are brave enough and we can all point and laugh at the bigots.

            3. This post has been deleted by its author

              1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

                Re: What is it...@Grumpenkraut

                "I really don't believe we have 21 verschluggener anti-Semites voting on The Reg so I too have to assume they didn't get your point."

                In someways I'm quite glad that most commentards haven't come across enough coded racism to recognise it as such.

                In case people aren't aware, some people also do it to their own name as a form of "I am Spartacus", so it depends on whether someone is suggesting something is part of The Great Zionist Conspiracy or that they are in fact part of it.

                I'm curious, what'ts the equivalent symbol for "x is a lizard"? :D

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Sunn O)))

              > Kindly put you racist shit where the sun does not shine.

              Not only was the quote not even from John Sanders- the post was made by Aladdin Sane!- *you* were the one that deliberately modified the original comment to suit your own agenda (by adding anti-semitic parentheses).

              Kindly put *your* attempt to smear him where the sun does not shine. As others noted, the concept of American Exceptionalism is not associated particularly with Judaism, regardless of your snide attempt to discredit him- or your utter fucking ignorance- in implying that's what he meant.

      2. JassMan Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: What is it...

        @ffeog

        I hear that only British actors ever take the parts of the evil genius in films so ipso facto, all us Brits must be evil geniuses (politicians excepted) right? Or is that only the mindset of law enforcement ossifers.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: What is it...

          I don't know about you, but I certainly am.

          Maniacal laugh.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What is it...

          Oh no, that's not at all true.

          Brits are also the genteel supporting character calmly sipping tea while all hell breaks loose (Blythe, Cavendish, et. al. from The Great Escape), the sage confidant (Alfred from any Batman movie), or preverts (Capt. Mandrake from Dr. Strangelove). Brits have a wide spectrum of stereotypical roles to play!

        3. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: What is it...

          "all us Brits must be evil geniuses"

          Well, since possessing a British accent automatically makes a person more cultured, smarter and better looking in the eyes of most Americans, that's not a huge stretch.

          1. Clarecats

            Re: What is it...

            ""all us Brits must be evil geniuses"

            Well, since possessing a British accent automatically makes a person more cultured, smarter and better looking in the eyes of most Americans, that's not a huge stretch."

            Ye canna change the laws o' Physics, Jim.

        4. Plus_Ca_Change

          Re: What is it...

          Bloody good point, Except that the evil Brit baddies would also be sinister enough to get the grammar right and now sound weird ("all of WE Brits must be ..... so give US big money etc...." ) ;-)

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: What is it...

        "a selected jury that knows squat about computers but buys into the idea the evil English guy sat before them is trying to make their computers kill them, so says the well-paid besuited prosecutor),"

        A jury likely made up of people who grew up in the era when the "bad guys" in the films were almost always brits with clipped accents?

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: What is it...

          Surely all he has to do to get off is address the jury in a plummy voice and remind them of Queen Lizzie....

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: What is it...

      "with this complete inability on the part of a huge number of Americans, from the POTUS down, to accept that they are in the wrong, apologise and move on gracefully?"

      Many of our own politicians are no better.

      But US colleagues have in the past offered an explanation: the US school system along with ambulance chasing lawyers. The school system (as our Public Schools did in Imperial days) teaches children that Americans are unique and exceptional and everybody else is inferior; and it teaches them to make sales presentations rather than discuss. Ambulance chasing lawyers translates as "never admit anything that might cost you money."

      1. WhatsData2U

        Re: What is it...

        LOL where do you guys get this stuff?? Sales presentations vs. debates REALLY cracked me up.

        -An (apparent) Exceptional American

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: What is it...

          "LOL where do you guys get this stuff?? Sales presentations vs. debates REALLY cracked me up"

          As I said, I was channelling two Americans I used to work with, one our R&D director and the other a marketing guy who subsequently moved to the UK to get a better education for his children.

          I'm afraid this may have been a mistake on his and his wife's part, but debate is all about context. Having a school "debate" on evolution where all the kids know that supporting it will be a mistake is not the same as teaching critical thinking (a specific complaint at the time.)

          I am sure that there are plenty of excellent teachers in schools in the US who are allowed to do their stuff without political or religious interference. There are plenty of Americans who worry about American exceptionalism and the long term problems. But my post was in answer to why exceptionalism exists to such an extent in the US.

      2. Plus_Ca_Change

        Re: What is it...

        Tragically we in UK are now dominated by fear-of-ambulance-chasing-lawsuits thinking - disguised as "oh it's Health & Safety gone MAD" :-(

    3. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

      Re: What is it...

      " What is it...

      ...with this complete inability on the part of a huge number of Americans, from the POTUS down, to accept that they are in the wrong, apologise and move on gracefully?"

      Wait: you're talking about Democrats and Mueller and the invisible non-smoking Russia gun? Or are you talking about all the evidence that Clinton keep a personal email server, was advised against it, yet continued to use it?

      1. Chris 3

        Re: What is it...

        I believe Clinton apologised for the mail server business.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is it...

      "this complete inability on the part of a huge number of Americans, from the POTUS down, to accept that they are in the wrong"

      I wonder how much of it is due to the competitive nature of Americans- the socially-instilled need to win at all costs- to be seen to win at all costs- taking priority even if that's at the expense of being in the wrong. (#)

      It would also explain the approach of prosecutors in court cases like this, turning what should (in an ideal world) be an attempt to ascertain the guilt- or otherwise- of the defendant and background of the crime into a blatant attempt to strongarm them into admitting guilt regardless of whether or not that's the case.

      (Though as someone else noted, in the US such people are often wannabe politicians operating with their mind on that first and foremost).

      (#) Not that this is a specifically American trait in general- it seems to be pretty universal in human beings to some extent- but I've no doubt that the American system and mentality amplifies and encourages this natural tendency significantly.

  3. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Headmaster

    He noticed that the malware was querying for a domain and getting NXDOMAIN responses. He then registered that domain and was incredibly lucky to find that it stopped the spread. It could equally as easily triggered something worse.

    It's also not what I'd call reverse engineering; he just watched wireshark and had a hunch.

    .

    That being said, there still doesn't seem to be any reason for the FBI to charge him with any of this shit.

    1. Velv Silver badge
      Boffin

      One has to assume that he added the domain to the hosts file or to a local test DNS in his isolated test lab before registering the domain.

    2. YetAnotherLocksmith

      By "hunch" you meant "easy educated guess" right?

      It would clearly be the C&C domain, or at least one of them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US Federal prosecutors have a 93-98% conviction rate (depending on which statistics you believe). This is how they get there - load on more and more charges and then offer a plea deal for the poor victim who has run out of money to pay his/her lawyers.

    Note that I have no idea whether or not Mr Hutchins is innocent, but if I were in this case I'd be looking for whatever deal lets them deport me back to the UK in as little time as possible. They are not going to give up on this and admit they were wrong and they have unlimited resources and time to find something, anything, to charge him with.

    Remember also that most people in the US don't get paid time off for jury service so the jury is made up of people too bored or stupid to avoid jury duty and its $50/day plus "reasonable transportation and parking costs". Do you want to be judged on a complex, technical subject by people for whom $50 a day is a pay increase?

    1. Baldrickk Silver badge

      93-98% conviction rate

      Sure, but are they really going to take people to court that they don't think did it?

      What about all those people who never end up in court?

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: 93-98% conviction rate

        Most district/state/US attorneys are politicians at heart - they build a great reputation as seekers of justice by only going to court when they're certain of a win, then they run for office. This is aided and abetted by elected judges.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: 93-98% conviction rate

        "Sure, but are they really going to take people to court that they don't think did it?"

        The system doesn't care. Once you've been charged, you're pretty much fucked. You either take a plea, push for a trial on the hope that it gets binned on a technicality, or go to trial and the prosecutor throws the book at you for "wasting" the court's time.

        If you've got enough money to fight it, then that's also viable. But your attorney probably doesn't want that, the prosecutor doesn't want that, so your best bet is a plea.

        Hence why 90%+ of federal cases go to a plea.

        Plus waiting around for a trial can be a looooong time. Especially if you case is remotely political, so like this one, you'll get new charges added every six months or so, until you crack or waste your life in jail.

        It's not exclusive to the US either, the whole Amanda Knox case is pretty much the same deal. Middle class black guy takes a plea since he knows he's fucked come a trial. Wealthy and politically connected white guy fights the case, aided by American girl-next-door.

      3. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        Re: 93-98% conviction rate

        ...Sure, but are they really going to take people to court that they don't think did it?...

        What kind of planet do you live on? One where it's still 1950?

        The UK police have just been shown to have been SUPPRESSING evidence in rape cases which clearly showed that the defendant was innocent. They are clearly interested in a conviction - of anyone. Even someone they know is clearly innocent. Do you think the US police are any different?

      4. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: 93-98% conviction rate

        "Sure, but are they really going to take people to court that they don't think did it?"

        I'm speaking in terms of the US here YMMV in other nations.

        I don't think they care at all whether or not the people actually did it. I think they only care about whether or not they can successfully prosecute or get a get a guilty plea through a plea bargain. Being able to successfully prosecute and whether or not the person actually did the crime are two different things.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: 93-98% conviction rate

          "Being able to successfully prosecute and whether or not the person actually did the crime are two different things."

          And that is the saddest thing about the entire "justice" system. Look how many times an accused has been found not guilty and the friends/relatives of the victim make statements about how s/he "got off". There's never any consideration that maybe this was the wrong accused and the real killer is still out there.

    2. GnuTzu Bronze badge

      Plea Deal

      This is how they get there - load on more and more charges and then offer a plea deal -- @anon...

      This is really bugging me. I don't want to see a plea deal. For this case, I want the FBI, Justice Dept. et al to justify this pursuit with incontrovertible proof that he actually and intentionally did harm. The InfoSec community needs to know that they're safe examining the things they need to examine and writing the code that makes that research possible--and won't be hunted down like vermin for doing the right thing.

      1. John Sanders
        Holmes

        Re: Plea Deal

        I would suggest that you pay attention to how the FBI operates and behaves, too many Hollywood movies have you confused.

    3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Some poeple accept their duty

      I have a very high-earning US friend who got called for jury duty. Months and months later, went back to work, as he got a murder trial. He said he did is as it was his duty as a citizen. He could have got out of it, but he didn't try.

      Do you really think smart people should avoid jury duty? Juries have lasted over 1000 years in England because they get justice done. Not 100% but if I were up in court, I'd want a jury trial.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Some poeple accept their duty

        I've sat on a jury and I would be very concerned if I were in court in front of a jury.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Some poeple accept their duty

          "I've sat on a jury and I would be very concerned if I were in court in front of a jury."

          Ditto. I've been on juries too and the majority of the panelists were convinced of the defendant's guilt before the opening arguments.

          "He's a bad guy, otherwise he wouldn't be in here. So we should convict him"

          Most of the rest just wanted it get it over and done with and avoid arguments.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Some poeple accept their duty

          If anyone thinks a jury is a good idea, remember, this country voted for brexit

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Some poeple accept their duty

            The problem is, what is the alternative? Have the state be the judge, jury, and executioner? I think history shows that as a recipe for tyranny.

            1. Danny 2 Silver badge

              Re: Some poeple accept their duty

              I'd been unemployed and broke but not claiming when I was put through a farcical 20 month trial. 13 court appearances I wasn't reimbursed for travelling to, three nights in the cells, yet it was dismissed the first time I was allowed to speak. It was a trial of a trial that left me rundown and even more impoverished. (I actually made a headline here because it coincided with my bronze badge award).

              Anyway, during the trial I was summoned for jury duty for the first time in my life, and I got an exemption because I was on trial. The week after my trial ended I got my second summons for jury duty and I just ignored it because frankly I would rather go to prison at that point than attend court as an unpaid juror.

              I had always been keen on being on a jury when I was working and well-off, and would have loved it when I was on benefits, but because I was neither earning nor on benefits I would only have been paid £5.71 for my lunch and my bus fare.

              My point being if jury service is mandatory then each juror should be paid an equal amount.

              For the record, I got away with ignoring it.

              1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

                Re: Some poeple accept their duty

                Danny 2, was that England or SCottland? In NZ we start at $31 per half day or $89 for a full day, rising to $40 and 114 6th & subsequent days. According to the Jury summons in my hand.

                1. Danny 2 Silver badge

                  Re: Some poeple accept their duty

                  @Clunking Fist,

                  Scotland, your system sounds much better.

                  https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/coming-to-court/jurors/expenses-for-jury-service

              2. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: Some poeple accept their duty

                My point being if jury service is mandatory then each juror should be paid an equal amount.

                Why? Do they incur an equal loss of earnings or prospects? Are their travel costs always the same?

                1. Danny 2 Silver badge

                  Re: Some poeple accept their duty

                  @Lucre Lout,

                  Just because I'm not earning or on benefits doesn't mean my time is any less precious to me, or my service is any less cogent. Each juror is doing the same job and deserve equal pay for an equal job done. If we were fined for refusing to attend then we'd both face the same fine.

                  Something else not mentioned in the very positive view expressed in the article is that some trials leave jurors traumatised by the evidence, and some trials can lead to intimidation or abuse by criminals.

                  1. werdsmith Silver badge

                    Re: Some poeple accept their duty

                    I was paid my normal salary by my employer, my expenses were reimbursed by the court and meals provided (England).

                  2. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Re: Some poeple accept their duty

                    Just because I'm not earning or on benefits doesn't mean my time is any less precious to me

                    No, but it does mean its a lot less precious to society. Sorry, but it just does. A persons time is worth whatever they can sell it for at the time. I know that will sound harsh, and perhaps it is, but that is just economic reality.

                    Each juror is doing the same job and deserve equal pay for an equal job done.

                    It's not a job, its a duty. The job is the thing the juror isn't doing while doing their duty, which is why compensation levels should be expected to vary such that each juror is equally not out of pocket in doing said duty.

                    The idea that all jurors do an equal job is demonstrably untrue - they will each bring differing levels of intelligence, experience, aptitude, and application to the task. As its not a job, doing so will not bring greater reward, but equally it should not cost a juror more in lost earnings than the one next to them - each should be compensated for their time at their individual prevailing rate. If your rate is zero, well, you weren't really doing anything of monetary value with the time anyway.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Some poeple accept their duty

                      I have to agree. If my employer did not continue to pay me while I was on jury duty I'd lose my little house and car in a couple of months. Happily, my employer does continue to pay employees who are out on jury duty. In Canada, I believe there is a financial hardship clause that enables a person can be excused from jury duty.

                2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                  Re: Some poeple accept their duty

                  "Do they incur an equal loss of earnings"

                  Possibly not but if some guy on 100k per year is going to get his normal rate , for sitting next to me doing the same job as me whilst i'm getting the same "shitty-end-of-the-stick-recompense" that I get in my day job , I would be pretty affronted.

                  You shouldnt have to pay the rich more to do their civic duty.

                  1. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Re: Some poeple accept their duty

                    You shouldnt have to pay the rich more to do their civic duty.

                    People aren't being paid more or less, they're being recompensed for lost earnings, nothing more. Nobody gains, nobody loses, everyone has what they would have had if they'd gone about a normal day without attending court to provide a civic duty.

                    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                      Re: Some poeple accept their duty

                      Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!

                      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                        Re: Some poeple accept their duty

                        "People aren't being paid more or less"

                        Yes they are, I'm off to look at the job pages...

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Some poeple accept their duty

                    Consider that many people live barely above pay cheque to pay cheque. Does that excuse a person making 20k for doing so more than a person making 100k? One could argue that it does, but the bottom line is that most spend what they have. So, both should be paid more than 50 a day, but I think it is incumbent upon the State to make sure that neither goes broke or loses their job doing their civic duty.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Some poeple accept their duty

              "The problem is, what is the alternative? Have the state be the judge, jury, and executioner? I think history shows that as a recipe for tyranny."

              Not just history; so does the future. #Dredd

            3. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

              Re: Some poeple accept their duty

              "The problem is, what is the alternative? Have the state be the judge, jury, and executioner?"

              There used to be an old rule; if you're guilty, go before a jury; if innocent, a judge.

              If you're guilty you might pull the wool over the eyes of a jury. But you're much less likely to fool a judge. On the other hand a judge can spot a weak prosecution case a mile off.

          2. YetAnotherLocksmith

            Re: Some poeple accept their duty

            /If anyone thinks a jury is a good idea, remember, this country voted for brexit/

            Yeah, but that was a hung jury, at 6 vs 6. In any sensible country, or the UK of even 5 years ago, that would've been the end of that - you don't make massive changes that will disrupt an entire union of 4 countries because two decide narrowly to break it for no actual reason they can articulate, not even a year after winning!

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Some poeple accept their duty

              "Yeah, but that was a hung jury, at 6 vs 6. In any sensible country, or the UK of even 5 years ago, that would've been the end of that - you don't make massive changes that will disrupt an entire union of 4 countries because two decide narrowly to break it for no actual reason they can articulate, not even a year after winning!"

              I'm not sure why you got downvoted so much for something that's factual. We have been bombarded by phrases such "all of us", "most of us", "a large majority" etc. who voted for brexit when the reality, whichever way you voted, is that the exit vote was a very slim majority.

          3. Spanners Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: Some poeple accept their duty

            There is a difference.

            With a Jury, I think you need more than half the jurors (sometimes more than that) to come to a conclusion.

            With Brexit, not much more than a third voted to leave but, as this made certain people happy, "they" went with it anyway.

            How many people should be in a jury? I think it used to be 12 but am not sure for nowadays.

            1. oldfartuk

              Re: Some poeple accept their duty

              "With Brexit, not much more than a third voted to leave "

              Umm in a democracy, only the people with a legitimate vote count. More than half the electorate who voted, voted to leave. All the one who didnt vote that could have, cant complain at the outcome. All the babies, schoolchildren, dogs, cats, and other miscellanous bodies who had no vote can complain if they like, but will have to wait till they get a vote to do anything about it.

              Seems pretty fair to me

          4. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

            Re: Some poeple accept their duty

            ..If anyone thinks a jury is a good idea, remember, this country voted for brexit...

            If anyone, especially AC, would prefer critical decisions affecting people's lives to be taken by corrupt faceless officials rather than a selection of citizens, let them remember Greece and Italy....

          5. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: Some poeple accept their duty

            "If anyone thinks a jury is a good idea, remember, this country voted for brexit"

            Which is actually a pretty good example of why the jury system is good, and a referendum with a narrow majority isn't, for deciding important things.

            Assuming you have a jury of 12, and need 10 for a conviction (numbers vary). Based on the turnout and results, an "averaged" UK jury would have gone 4 guilty, 4 not guilty and 4 undecided. Based on some finger waving, guess work and what opinions people express, at most 1 in 4 of each of the voting groups might change their mind.

            Thus you would have at most 9-3 split, with the 3 being steadfast in their views. If those 3 won't shift, then it's a hung jury. That's assuming everyone who could change their mind does.

            Note it doesn't matter which way is guilty or innocent.

            Anyways, the best bet if you have a jury trial is to be white, female and hire a QC. Not necessarily in that order :)

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Some poeple accept their duty

        This. In my social circle, trying to get out of jury duty is a huge social no-no. Intelligent people don't try to dodge it, they try to do the best job that they can when they're performing it. This is, after all, about trying to make our society as just as possible.

        1. tom dial Silver badge

          Re: Some poeple accept their duty

          Quite a few employers encourage and pay normal compensation for periods of jury service. That includes the US government and probably most state and local governments, but probably is less common among smaller employers for whom it could be a significant burden. Some, including the US government, collect the jury pay as a condition, although for my last jury duty I took vacation leave and kept the jury pay.

        2. Dagg

          Re: Some poeple accept their duty

          Intelligent people don't try to dodge it

          In my experience you don't need to as soon as it is apparent that you have a functioning brain one or both of the bottom feeders lawyers will object to your inclusion on the jury.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Some poeple accept their duty

            Yes, sadly, this is very often true.

    4. LucreLout Silver badge

      Do you want to be judged on a complex, technical subject by people for whom $50 a day is a pay increase?

      It's not much better when you pay much larger sums. I've been interviewing for 4 weeks and all I'm looking for is someone that understands basic OOP techniques, TDD, GoF, and a few other things. So far nobody has made it through a basic phone screen, and we're talking people with > 1 decade of continuous work experience on their CV. Frankly, the state of our industry embarrasses me.

      Regardless of country, I think as soon as a technical understanding is required to interpret the evidence, the prospect of a fair & reasoned trial goes out the window, in favour of whatever the jury 'feel', which is both dangerous and unhelpful.

  5. GnuTzu Bronze badge
    Stop

    Policy?

    I think somebody seriously needs to set clear policy on these kinds of charges--before even white hats cease to defend us for fear of being prosecuted.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FBI is broken

    Its just a political animal trying to feed itself. Close it and start again.

    1. YetAnotherLocksmith

      Re: FBI is broken

      They have to arrest and convict the liar at the top. The fish rots from the head.

      1. Wayland Bronze badge

        Re: FBI is broken

        I think the FBI got rid of a lot of their top liars. Other FBI liars are being prosecuted. Trump is quietly and slowly draining the swamp but it's a big messy job.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: FBI is broken

          "Trump is quietly and slowly draining the swamp"

          It honestly looks like he's doing the exact opposite of "draining the swamp".

  7. steviebuk Silver badge

    This appears....

    ...as bent as fuck. The FBI have fucked up and are trying anything to save face. Even if it means fucking someones life up.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: This appears....

      " The FBI have fucked up and are trying anything to save face."

      This, in spades. the USA legal system(*) is fundamentally broken. This tendency to pile on hundreds of charges in order to plea bargain down to guilty of "walking on the cracks in the pavement" simply because defending the charges leads to bankruptcy should be stomped on and victims of such malfeasance awarded hundreds of millions in compensation.

      (*) As I keep pointing out. it's not a justice system and never was (anywhere in the world). It's a legal system and those with the deepest pockets do best. This is something hammered into wannabe lawyers on day one of their law courses.

  8. Joe Gurman

    Maybe it's an unfamiliarity with legal processes....

    ....in the US, but if the FBI id conducting an honesty investigation, there's always the possibility they'll turn up what they consider evidence of further violations of US law. If so, it's customary to proceed with more charges. Partly, no doubt, from the "Now will you take the plea bargain?" tactic discussed above, but also because they and federal prosecutors (in this case, the US attorney for that part of Wisconsin) think they can make the charge stick in court.

    Likewise, lying to a federal investigator is the kind of crime that is so clear cut (if the prosecutors decide to take it to court) that federal prosecutors will always prosecute it. It's what any number of now former federal officials and, currently, individuals associated with the Trump election campaign have gotten nailed for — with more to come. And then there's witness tampering.... the prosecutors love that stuff; it's like the southern sheriff with the reflector shades getting red in the face because you didn't respect his authority.

  9. PirateKing

    I applaud him for finding a way of activating the "kill switch" via registering the domain this thing was to phone home to and in essence it would not receive any instructions nor would any data fall into wrong hands.

    But he had to tell the FBI and now they are jailing him.. and the perps that created it now know they can create something like it but before they release it to the wild they need to have the domain set up beforehand.

    He should have kept quiet and let the creators try to figure out what was wrong.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      'No good deed goes unpunished'

    2. Wayland Bronze badge

      I expect this was something some corrupt people in the FBI were supporting. Having some kid from the UK mess it up probably annoyed them.

  10. sitta_europea

    [quote]Hutchins discovered a "kill switch" in the code, and stopped its worldwide spread by registering a web domain specified in the reverse-engineered binary.[/quote]

    Is this accurate?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Is this accurate?"

      Yes, due to a defence measure against malware researchers: The thing was specifically doing a DNS lookup for a non-existent name. If it got a positive result the assumption was that it was in a researcher's sandbox and it would instantly shut down.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So for testing purposes on the local domain "sandboxed" the dns lookup would point to a local IP 192.168.1.x address for testing? But once in the wild that domain wouldn't exist so the code would attempt to populate itself?

      2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        specifically doing a DNS lookup for a non-existent name. If it got a positive result the assumption was that it was in a researcher's sandbox

        Why? because the researcher would simulate the domain and have it reply?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Could also have been a local control mechanism? Spoof the domain locally when setting it up and sending it out?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you trust the FBI read this.

    The book "Paddywhacked: the story of the Irish mob in America" has more details but this will get you started.

    https://howiecarrshow.com/2018/03/22/2322/

    AC for obvious reasons

  12. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
    Facepalm

    FFS! It's obvious he's just a bargaining chip and nothing more!

    He's being held in the US on charges simply at the pleasure of the "wiggy one", as soon as the US wants something off Mrs May and she gives it to "wiggy" then Marcus will be free to come home. Governments and rulers have been doing it for thousands of years, you keep someone important locked up until they either a) become worthless or b) they finally become what is expected of them, a valuable bargaining chip in some unrelated dicussion.

    When Marcus gets released in maybe 18 months time, old "Wiggy" looks good and all the Foreign Office types will pat each other on the back for bargaining his release. It's all bollocks!

    1. YetAnotherLocksmith

      Re: FFS! It's obvious he's just a bargaining chip and nothing more!

      Not really certain he's valuable in that sense?

      I suppose he's a national hero, saving the NHS, and that's against US policy now, but that's also against Tory policy, so...

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: FFS! It's obvious he's just a bargaining chip and nothing more!

      When Marcus gets released in maybe 18 months time

      I'm not sure that's a safe assumption to make. Their justice system has been itching to get its hands on a British hacker, but thanks to all the last minute Asbergers/Suicidal diagnosis, we've been declining to send them one. Now they have one, why let him go?

      Unfortunately for Hutchins, I can readily see him being made an example of.

  13. TheSkunkyMonk

    He probably did the deed in my eyes but when people are extradited the country they are sent to should at the very least have to cover the legal costs for them if they are removed from a country where a solicitor/barrister would usually be provided for you free of charge, this should be part of the UK's conditions on letting our citizens go through this process! always knew it was to good to be true, and it was probably a story to cover him accidentally registering the domain in his name in the first place, but that is for the court to decide.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      -He wasnt extradited , he was arrested while visiting.

      -I'd imagine he probably could use the American "Public Defender" for free if he felt suicidal.

      -His charges are completely unrelated to the wannacry ransomeware - something that seems to have been missed by a lot of the commentors (rtfa! :p )

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doctor! Doctor! I can’t feel my legs

    A man woke up from a serious surgery. He screamed, “Doctor! Doctor! I can’t feel my legs!”. And the doctor replied, “I know. I amputated you arms.”

    A customer of mine is a nurse in Critical Care. She said the patient computer screens were showing Doctor and Nurse jokes the day before the Wanna Cry hit. She thought it was a prank by one of the staff.

    This would seem to indicate that the Wanna Cry was targeted on the NHS.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Doctor! Doctor! I can’t feel my legs

      This would seem to indicate that the Wanna Cry was targeted on the NHS.

      It wasnt targeted at the NHS, we just have the shittiest I.T practices , (especially patching) so got hit hardest.

      p.s.

      Whats a Patient Computer screen?

      What would seem to indicate it was targeted? the presence of jokes?, the ability to access jokes? or the lack of tech knowledge of Nurses?

      ...because if any of those things can down your system it has other problems.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Doctor! Doctor! I can’t feel my legs

      This would seem to indicate that the Wanna Cry was targeted on the NHS.

      It was targeted on anyone fulfilling technical criteria* who wasn't patched. Unlike reports, it was not successfully targeted at people running Windows XP. All it generally did to them was cause a BSOD or a reboot.

      *criteria like underfunded (NHS), sure than nobody would be so stupid as to target them (Russian FSB) and so on.

  15. Torchy

    Lying to the FBI.........

    Eeeeee ! Lying to an organisation that never lie's, misinforms, denies participation, has its own (in-house coded) batch of snooping malware, I could go on but I'm sure you know what I am talking about.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've often heard it said...

      No law states a police officer has to tell the truth, only the defendant, when arrested.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time will tell

    In due time we will see what the facts of these charges are and if Hutchins is found guilty. With so many "double agents" in the digital environment, it's difficult to tell the good guys from the bad.

  17. Little boy down the lane

    Never speak to the police without a lawyer

    He is also accused of lying to the FBI by "knowingly and wilfully" making a "materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement"

    Are these charges related to the interview where they read him his rights in a stairwell? He probably didn’t have his lawyer with him and they have caught him on something minor. Something minor that is nevertheless a crime.

    https://youtu.be/i8z7NC5sgik

  18. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Black Hat being relocated?

    It looks like Europe is the safe harbour, if researchers put themselves in peril by entering the USA.

    Otherwise the attendance list is going to look pretty sparse.

  19. razorfishsl

    More like he was taking out a competitor

    Then decided to show how "clever" he was.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has he claimed to have ASD yet?

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