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Judge: MalwareTech is no longer under curfew, GPS monitoring

Enlarge/ Marcus Hutchins, security researcher for Kryptos Lo..

Enlarge/ Marcus Hutchins, security researcher for Kryptos Logic. In May, he registered a domain name that neutralized the WCry ransomware worm. In August, he was charged with developing malware called Kronos.Bloomberg via Getty Images

A judge in Milwaukee has modified the pre-trial release conditions of Marcus Hutchins, also known online as "MalwareTech," who was indicted two months ago on federal criminal charges.

Under US Magistrate Judge William Duffin’s Thursday order, Hutchins, who is currently living in Los Angeles, will no longer be subject to a curfew or to GPS monitoring.

His attorney, Marcia Hofmann, wrote in a court filing earlier this week that Hutchins should not be considered a flight risk and has never missed a court appearance. During a September 2017 trip to the East Coast, his GPS monitoring device failed and he “did not attempt to flee the country.” She also told the court that being forced to wear the device was “unduly burdensome,” in particular as it hindered his ability to swim and surf.

As Ars has previously reported, the 23-year-old security professional who accidentally stopped the spread of the virulent WCry ransomware worm in May 2017 was accused in August 2017 of being part of a conspiracy that created and distributed a piece of unrelated malware that steals banking credentials from unsuspecting computer users. He pleaded not guilty at a court hearing on August 14 in Milwaukee.

Hutchins, a British national, was arrested after leaving the Black Hat and DEF CON security conferences in August. He has been unable to leave the US since due to his pending criminal charges.

Initially, Hutchins’ access to the Internet was restricted, but that has since been relaxed. He has continued to be prolific on Twitter.

Californians claiming it’s cold meanwhile I’m wishing there was a way to wear less clothes than I’m wearing without being arrested.

— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) October 20, 2017

In a recent court filing, DOJ lawyers told the court that they had produced “11 discs containing discovery,” including one from October 2 that “contained five malware samples, among other things.”

Prosecutors, Hutchins, and his attorneys are next scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Nancy Joseph on November 13 at 11:30am Central Time.

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