Researcher Who Stopped WannaCry Cyberattack Arrested in Las Vegas

The security researcher credited with stopping the spread of a massive cyberattack earlier this year has been arrested by the FBI, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Marcus Hutchins, a 22-year-old England-based researcher who was hailed for finding a “kill switch” that halted the WannaCry malware assault in May, was detained Wednesday by FBI officials in Las Vegas for his role in hatching a banking virus, federal prosecutors said in a statement announcing the six-count indictment.

Related: Meet the Tech Expert Who ‘Saved the U.S.’ From WannaCry

WannaCry infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide, disrupting businesses and breaching major services — from United Kingdom hospital systems and Russia’s interior ministry to Germany’s rail network and a Spanish telecommunications operator. The virus locked down files and demanded $300 to $600 to restore them.

Image: Marcus Hutchins

British IT expert Marcus Hutchins has been branded a hero for slowing down the “WannaCry” global cyberattack.