A young British computer researcher who discovered how to delay the spread of the global hostage software ‘WannaCry’ does not have to go to jail in the United States. Marcus Hutchins is paroled and allowed to return to his homeland, reports British media.
Hutchins became a hero in 2017, finding a way to neutralize WannaCry. That hostage program had contaminated hundreds of thousands of computers in about 150 countries. That led to disturbances in factories, hospitals, shops, and schools.
The FBI arrested him later that year in Las Vegas, where he attended a conference. Marcus Hutchins later confessed to the development of a harmful and illegal computer program, known as malware, in 2014. The Kronos virus program could be used to steal bank records.
“I regret these actions and take full responsibility for my mistakes,” said Hutchins, in a statement in which he confessed his guilt. “Since then I have grown up and learned to use the same skills that I abused many years ago for constructive purposes. I will continue to work to keep people safe from cyber attacks.”
In exchange for his confession, the prosecutors eventually withdrew other charges. The authorities also acknowledged that the Brit had improved his life.
The WannaCry hero could have been detained for 10 years. He responded relieved on Twitter to the verdict and thanked the mild and understanding judge.