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  1. ITV Report

NHS computer hack 'hero' admits cyber crime charges in US

Marcus Hutchins, also known as Malwaretech, who has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States relating to writing malware Credit: AP

A British computer expert who helped stop the WannaCry cyber attack on the NHS has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the US, court documents have revealed.

Marcus Hutchins, from Ilfracombe, Devon, who goes by the name Malwaretech, admitted to two charges of writing malware.

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The 24-year-old was hailed as a hero in May 2017 when he was able to stop the WannaCry virus which hit more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries.

He was arrested by FBI agents in a first-class lounge at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas as he waited to board a flight back to Britain on August 2, 2017.

Hutchins was attending the Def Con hacking convention in the US prior to his arrest. Credit: PA

Hutchins was attending the Def Con hacking convention in the US prior to his arrest.

In court documents, Hutchins is accused of creating and selling a malware known as Kronos.

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The court documents read: "The malware was designed to target banking information and to work on many types of web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome.

“Since 2014, Kronos has been used to infect numerous computers around the world and steal banking information.”

If found guilty, he could be fined up to $250,000 (£190,000) and up to five years in prison.

His sentencing is "yet to be scheduled", according to Hutchins.

In a statement published on his website, Hutchins said: "I regret these actions and accept full responsibility for my mistakes.

“Having grown up, I’ve since been using the same skills that I misused several years ago for constructive purposes.

“I will continue to devote my time to keeping people safe from malware attacks.”