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A computer researcher who gained global recognition for his role in halting the Wannacry ransom attack on UK hospitals has been arrested in the US on charges that he was the chief architect of the Kronos banking trojan.

UK resident Marcus Hutchins, also known as 'MalwareTech', was arrested in Las Vegas following a two-year long investigation and indicted on six counts of computer fraud.

The Kronos banking trojan was designed to harvest and transfer the username and password associated with banking websites and was used on attacks against financial institutions in the Canada, Germany, Poland, France, and the United Kingdom, among others countries.

There is no evidence that Hutchins deployed the malware personally, but he is alleged to have made thousands of dollars by advertising it for sale on dark Web sites.

Hutchins' arrest sent shockwaves across the Black Hat and Defcon conferences in Las Vegas, where he was feted as a hero for disarming the Wannacry ransomware attack that shook the UK health system in May this year.

The US Justice Department swoop coincides with news that more than $140,000 (£105,000) worth of bitcoins paid by victims of the WannaCry ransomware outbreak have been withdrawn from their online wallets.

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