In Brief

US arrests British expert who halted WannaCry virus

Marcus Hutchins accused of spreading Kronos banking virus in 2014

A British computer malware expert has been arrested in the UK, months after being hailed as a hero for his work in helping stop the WannaCry ransomware that threatened to cripple the NHS.

Marcus Hutchins, 22, has been accused of conspiring to "advertise the availability of the Kronos malware on internet forums, sell the malware and profit from it", ABC Online reports. He has been jointly charged with another individual, whom authorities have declined to name.

"The indictment alleged that Hutchins 'created the Kronos malware' and the other person later sold it for $2,000 (£1,500) online," the Daily Telegraph says. 

The incidents "occurred between in or around July 2014 and July 2015", says the US Department of Justice.

US officials detained Hutchins at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas as he was preparing to fly home from Defcon, a four-day conference where hackers, security experts and researchers share information. 

"He was escorted out of the airport and never made his flight," a witness told the Daily Mail.

"He was arraigned in Las Vegas late Thursday afternoon and made no statement in court beyond mumbling one-word answers in response to a few basic questions from the judge," The Guardian says. There will be another hearing today.

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