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UK cyber-security expert admits developing malware to steal banking data

Marcus Hutchins appeared in a Wisconsin court on Thursday.

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Marcus Hutchins, a British cyber-security expert, could face 10 years in jail (Frank Augstein/AP)

Marcus Hutchins, a British cyber-security expert, could face 10 years in jail (Frank Augstein/AP)

Marcus Hutchins, a British cyber-security expert, could face 10 years in jail (Frank Augstein/AP)

A British cyber-security researcher credited with stopping a worldwide computer virus in 2017 has pleaded guilty in a US federal court to developing malware to steal banking information.

Marcus Hutchins appeared in a Wisconsin court on Thursday after he agreed last month to plead guilty to developing a malware called Kronos and conspiring to distribute it from 2012 to 2015.

Prosecutors dismissed eight more charges in exchange for his plea.

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Marcus Hutchins helped stop a computer virus (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Marcus Hutchins helped stop a computer virus (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Marcus Hutchins helped stop a computer virus (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Sentencing for Hutchins is set for July 26. He faces up to 10 years in prison but could receive a more lenient sentence for accepting responsibility.

Hutchins’s arrest in Las Vegas in August 2017 came as a shock because months earlier he was hailed as a hero for finding a “kill switch” to the WannaCry virus that crippled computers worldwide.

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