Before being arrested by the FBI while attempting to take a flight back to the United Kingdom, Marcus Hutchins was partying hard in Las Vegas: renting sports cars, going clubbing, and staying at a lavish $1,900 per night rental that happens to have the biggest private pool in the city.
Hutchins, 23, became a worldwide phenomenon when he was credited with inadvertently stopping a malware attack that was spreading across the globe. That malware attack, known as WannaCry, reportedly hit hospitals and companies like FedEx, causing massive disruption and damage that is still being tabulated.
Hutchins’s arrest was not related to his work on WannaCry, according to U.S. officials. The coder was picked up for “his role in creating and distributing the Kronos banking Trojan,” a spokesperson from the U.S. Department of Justice, told CNN. The offending conduct took place between July 2014 and July 2015, CNN reports. According to an indictment published by Motherboard’s Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Hutchins offered to sell the Kronos banking trojan online for $3,000.
[pew pew intensifies more] pic.twitter.com/pbNBnXUODV— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) July 28, 2017
According to a friend of Hutchins, lawyers Andrew Crocker and Nate Cardozo of the Electronic Frontier foundation assisted Hutchins in finding legal representation, though it is unclear if Hutchins will be represented by the EFF. A request for comment was not immediately returned.
Today's rental pic.twitter.com/2cALRVyjy3— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) July 28, 2017
Is there any tracks or anything in Vegas where we can drive this car properly without being arrested?— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) July 26, 2017
About to cross "turn up at a club in clothes I bought on the way" off my bucket list.— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) July 29, 2017
Hutchins, better known as MalwareTechBlog, told The Outline on Sunday that he had been renting the mansion of Las Vegas real estate mogul Ramin Messian with seven friends. (The Outline spoke with Hutchins in Las Vegas on Sunday, as part of a dinner that was casual but not off the record.) The mansion, Hutchins said, boasts the largest private pool in Las Vegas. Hutchins showed The Outline a video tour of his sweet Las Vegas digs, complete with the high-end sports cars parked in the driveway that he and his friends had rented.
Chainsmokers was definitely worth the lost wallet pic.twitter.com/iNYpBK7vl0— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) July 29, 2017
Hutchins was in Vegas during the hacker conferences DEF CON and Blackhat, but he didn’t actually have a badge and wasn’t planning on attending, he told The Outline. Instead, he partied with his fellow hackers and security researchers. He shot guns at a shooting range, had a party at the rental house, and had his wallet stolen at a night club.
Apparently I can get a 5 person helicopter tour for $1600 and we get to land at the bottom of the canyon. pic.twitter.com/CmvabS3r9d— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) July 23, 2017
The FBI referred all press inquiries to the Department of Justice. The CEO of Hutchins’ employer, Kryptos Logic, have not returned a request for comment. A friend of Hutchins now says the researcher is in the Las Vegas FBI field office:
Finally located @MalwareTechBlog, he's in the Las Vegas FBI field office. Can anyone provide legal representation?— Andrew Mabbitt (@MabbsSec) August 3, 2017
We’ve reached out to Hutchins and will update this story when we hear back.
I refuse to believe the charges against @MalwareTechBlog, not the MT I know at all. He spent his career stopping malware, not writing it.— Andrew Mabbitt (@MabbsSec) August 3, 2017