Marcus Hutchins, also known as MalwareTech, is the hero security researcher from the United Kingdom who stopped the WannaCry ransomware that attacked computers around the world in May. In July, he was arrested at the airport by the United States FBI as he was leaving DEFCON, the annual gathering of information security researchers in Las Vegas, Nevada. Family and friends began frantically searching for him when he did not show up in the UK.
We've now found out that Marcus is being prosecuted under wiretap law and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act--the CFAA. This United States law is notorious for its broad reach and vague language, which makes it vulnerable to creative interpretations and chills important security research. Fortunately, Marcus has an incredibly strong legal team in his corner. Marcia Hofmann is one of the most well known computer crime lawyers in the country, and is the first call of any security researcher faced with an overreaching CFAA charge. Brian Klein is a top federal criminal defense attorney who focuses on cutting-edge technology cases like Marcus's. Together they're the strongest indication that the security community believes Marcus should have the most vigorous and competent defense possible.
We, the information security community, and anyone who believes that Marcus Hutchins deserves the right to strong representation and a fair trial, are supporting Marcus's defense by raising funds to defray his legal expenses and fees (including experts), and doing whatever else is needed to help Marcus in his legal fight during these difficult times. This will be a long battle, but we're here all the way through. Marcus is aware of this campaign and appreciates everyone's help tremendously.
Janet Hutchins, Marcus's mom, says to you all: "'Thank you' doesn't seem enough. We have been overwhelmed by the support and generosity shown to Marcus and ourselves."
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