WannaCry Hero Arrested in US After Hacking Conference
U.S. security agents have arrested the British hacker known for discovering a "kill switch" that nullified a widespread ransomware attack earlier this year.
Marcus Hutchins, a 23-year-old malware researcher who uses the name Malware Tech, was detained by the FBI on Wednesday at the Las Vegas airport, where he was preparing to return to Britain after attending two hacking conferences in the city.
Court documents unsealed on Thursday indicated Hutchins was arrested on hacking charges unrelated to the ransomware attack known as WannaCry.
Reuters news agency reports Hutchins is accused of advertising, distributing and profiting from malware code known as Kronos that stole online banking credentials and credit card data between July 2014 and July 2015.
Hutchins has not made a public statement, but his mother told London's Telegraph newspaper that she expected to be "rather busy tonight," trying to find out where her son is being held.
Hutchins became an overnight hero in May after disabling the WannaCry worm, which infiltrated software in hundreds of thousands of computers in hospitals, schools, factories and shops in more than 150 countries. Parts of Britain's National Health Service were infected, as well as the FedEx delivery company, German rail Deutsche Bahn and Spain's Telefonica.
The attack first became evident on May 12, 2017, and continued over the weekend. By May 15, Hutchins had discovered a so-called "kill switch" that disabled the worm.
Observers Say New Cease-Fire in Central Syria Held Thursday
A cease-fire in parts of Homs province in central Syria was held Thursday, observers say, giving civilians a chance to start putting their lives back together.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported no violations while reporters on the ground say fruit and vegetable markets reopened and children were back on the streets in the city of Homs.
The quiet will also give humanitarian workers the chance to bring in badly-needed aid.
"It's important that people can live again," an opposition activist told the Associated Press.
Russian defense officials and representatives of the Syrian rebels worked out the details of the cease-fire in northern Homs last week in Cairo.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the truce would affect an area that has a population of more than 147,000 people.
This is the third of four truces reached during negotiations in Kazakhstan when Russia, Iran, and Turkey agreed to establish what they called "de-escalation" zones in some of the most violent areas of Syria.
Cease-fires are also in effect in parts of southern Syria and an area outside Damascus. The fourth area in Idlib province has yet to be established.
Like other cease-fire deals during the Syrian conflict, this one does not cover Islamic State fighters or those from al-Qaida-linked groups.