Read

The self-salvation of genius

  Marcus Hutchins was born in Bracknell, England in 1994. He was precocious and gifted. At the age of 14, he wrote the first password stealing software. At the age of 15, he established his own company to provide hacking services and made the first pot of gold in his life. Later, he was caught in the whirlpool of cybercrime. extricate themselves. He’s a hero who saved the internet and a respected cybersecurity expert, but he’s also the creator of the infamous banking trojan Kronos. Hutchins’ path to hacking is his struggle against himself, darkness and humanity, and the computer genius’s path to self-redemption.
juvenile precocious

  Marcus Hutchins’ mother, Janet, was a Scottish-born nurse and her father, Desmond, was a social worker from Jamaica. So that Hutchins and his brother could grow up simply and happily, the family moved to a remote cattle farm in Devon.
  Hutchins, smart and determined, once broke his wrist without shedding a tear, but wept as the farmer killed a emaciated calf with brain damage. Hutchins has shown an extraordinary obsession and talent for computers since he was a child. At the age of 6, he began to curiously study the symbols behind the website and wrote basic program scripts using the Basic programming language. For Hutchins, this seemed to open the door to a new world in which he could construct whatever was his.
  On his 13th birthday, Hutchins finally got a computer of his own. For Hutchins, the computer was like opening a Pandora’s box. Within a year of owning the computer, Hutchins began appearing on junior hacker web forums. At the age of 14, he wrote a simple password stealer on the forum. As long as this software is installed on your computer, you can obtain the account and password that the computer stores in the browser. Hutchins’ first malware was quickly recognized by the forums, but he didn’t know what to do with it himself, he just wanted to make something cool and let the rest of the forums know he was awesome.
  Hutchins was just a high school kid who liked to prove himself, to do what he thought was cool, and to write programs that no one else could. If things had continued this way, Hutchins might have successfully completed high school and entered college to study his favorite computer science major. In this way, there may be one less genius hacker who is talked about by people in the world, and one more computer professor.
  After all, fate played a joke on Hutchins, and his life path began to deflect. One day when he was 15 years old, Hutchins was suddenly called into the office by the principal, and the principal asked Hutchins seriously, asking him to take the initiative to confess his fault. Hutchins looked puzzled and repeatedly asked the principal what happened. The principal told him that the school’s network had been attacked, for which the school had to replace a server, and the principal believed that no one in the whole school except Hutchins could have such skills.

  Hutchins was aggrieved and irrefutable, because he was notorious among the school’s computer staff, and everyone knew he could do it. His father also defended him: “He likes to brag. If he did it, he would say he did it.” But the school still permanently banned him from using computers at school. This small incident is hardly worth mentioning in terms of the bloodshed he later created in the Internet field around the world, but Hutchins said in an interview many years later that he still has a deep obsession with this matter. He admits to being the creator of the notorious banking Trojan “Kronos”, but insists he was an innocent scapegoat for the attack on the school’s network that year.
  Others may not know what this misunderstanding left in Hutchins’ heart, is it grievance or anger? This 15-year-old boy seems to be angry with the whole world: since you think I did it, then I will really make something different for you to see! After this incident, Hutchins became a complete night owl, sleeping in class during the day, not even going to class, and going home at night to immerse himself in the world of computers. It was not long after that, Hutchins set up his own company and really embarked on the road of no return as a hacker.

Computer desktop attacked by “WannaCry” computer virus.

Hutchins found the virus’ “death switch” and became a hero to save the Internet. Hutchins became famous overnight, and he was overwhelmed with interviews and parties.

Hutchins found the virus’ “death switch” and became a hero to save the Internet. Hutchins became famous overnight, and he was overwhelmed with interviews and parties.
Hacker’s Road

  Hutchins started his first company at the age of 15, when he had dropped out of school entirely. He started selling web hosting services at HackForums for a monthly fee. Hutchins even advertised that his server allowed all websites to apply for use, whether legal or illegal. In this way, he made the first pot of gold in his life. Hutchins, who has tasted the sweetness, has since become more reckless. Soon, Hutchins used his extraordinary talent to run his business well.
  One night, Hutchins managed his server hosting service as usual, handling customer messages and haggling with customers. Suddenly he felt bored – he was doing something that didn’t make sense! These worldly affairs are not what he wants to do. The novelty of first making money is over, replaced by numbness and mechanical repetition. Within a year, Hutchins was so fed up with his botnet and hosting service that he dropped it to focus on perfecting his own malware.

  Hutchins quickly took aim at rootkits, splitting other hackers’ “rootkits” so the malware could hide. Through this malware, Hutchins made a lot of money and gradually became famous in the hacker circle.
  When Hutchins was 16, he was approached by a client who went by the pseudonym Vinny. He took a fancy to Hutchins’ talent on hacker forums and wanted to work with Hutchins. His assignment to Hutchins was to make a versatile “rootkit” that he could sell to more professional users in the more professional hacking market. Vinny was also generous to Hutchins, rewarding him with half the profit on sales. This product was named “UPAS Kit” by them. The new computer virus sold well, and Hutchins was rewarded handsomely.
  At this time, Hutchins made great progress in the hacker market, and it was smooth sailing. It seemed that there was no program that Hutchins could not develop. Hutchins’ brilliance and talent for computers were elusive, but it wasn’t technical problems that stumped him, but his own heart. Shortly after “UPAS Kit” was developed, Vinny told Hutchins that he hoped “UPAS Kit 2.0” would record what the victim’s keyboard was typing and monitor the contents of the victim’s monitor. Most importantly, he wanted a new feature that could inject fake text fields or other content into pages viewed by victims, known as web inject. Clever Hutchins immediately understood that Vinny had a very clear purpose in doing this – to commit bank fraud.
  Hutchins was in deep conflict at this point. He knew that once the “UPAS Kit 2.0” was developed, he could make a lot of money, and that such a program was not particularly difficult for Hutchins. But Hutchins also understood that the new virus was aimed at ordinary people’s life savings, which would make him an accomplice in stealing money from innocent people. This time, after much thought, Hutchins rejected Vinny. But what Hutchins didn’t expect was that Vinny threatened him: If Hutchins didn’t agree, he would hand over Hutchins’ personal information to the FBI, and the two of them were already grasshoppers on a rope. Hutchins was terrified and regretted that he would be foolish enough to tell a partner his personal information.
  Hutchins slept through the night. On the one hand, he didn’t want to break through his inner bottom line, but on the other hand, Hutchins didn’t want to go to jail. If Hutchins held up in the face of the lure of money, Hutchins wavered in the face of prison. After many twists and turns, whether Hutchins is willing or not, active or passive, “UPAS Kit 2.0” has come out, and is named after the father of Zeus in Greek mythology “Kronos”. In this way, “Kronos” became one of the most notorious banking Trojans in history. But after “Kronos” came out, Hutchins has been unhappy and lost his old fighting spirit. But this state did not last long, and Hutchins met the “noble man” in his life.
“World Hero”

  At the age of 19, Hutchins met Randy on the hacker forum “Trojan-Forge”, and Randy wanted to hire him to develop a malware. At this time, Hutchins suffered tremendous physical and mental torment. He was exhausted by continuous work and lingering inner worries. He decisively refused Randy’s request. Later, Randy wanted to hire him to develop some legitimate apps, and Hutchins agreed.
  Subsequently, Hutchins began to reverse engineer the two botnets “Kelihos” and “Necurs”, and wrote some botnet monitoring programs to mark computers controlled by botnets. Shortly thereafter, Salim, CEO of the Los Angeles-based cybersecurity startup Kryptos Logic, wanted Hutchins to work for them. The company wants to create a tracking system that will alert users when their computer’s Internet Protocol address appears in a botnet.
  During this time, Hutchins successfully breached one large botnet after another, such as “Necurs”, “Dridex”
  and “Emotet”, involving millions of computers. At this time, Hutchins was different from Hutchins who hid in hacker forums a few years ago. The development of botnet trackers brought Hutchins a lot of money and a good social status. He felt that his own Life is gradually full of light, and you don’t have to live the days you used to worry about. An incident that followed made Hutchins even more famous in the first battle.
  On May 12, 2017, computer screens in several hospitals read: “Oops, your files are encrypted!” Below the screen, it was written that $300 in Bitcoin was required to unlock the machine.
  Cybersecurity researchers named the “worm-like” ransomware “WannaCry”. “WannaCry” is extremely susceptible to infection in computers using the Windows operating system (Windows) and can quickly spread to other computers. In just a few hours, “WannaCry” spread widely around the world, with unprecedented speed and scope. Companies extorted by “WannaCry” include Sberbank, Nissan and Honda, Deutsche Bahn, automaker Renault, Telefonica, FedEx and Boeing, and even a number of Chinese universities. In just one afternoon, the global spread of the virus is estimated to cost more than $4 billion. What’s more worrying is that the virus continues to spread, and people are helpless.
  Hutchins quickly got the news and set about parsing the code. He found that the program, while performing encryption, sent a query message to a seemingly random Internet domain address. Strangely, Hutchins discovered that the domain name had not been registered, so he immediately bought the address from a domain name dealer. When Hutchins directed the domain to a set of servers, the server immediately received connections from newly infected computers around the world. Since Hutchins’ domain name went live first, and “WannaCry” connected to Hutchins’ company’s servers, the virus would continue to infect, but it wouldn’t really cause harm. In this way, Hutchins found the “death switch” of the virus and became a hero to save the Internet. Hutchins said that he himself did not expect this URL to be the key to cracking the virus.
  Overnight, Hutchins became famous and overwhelmed with interviews and parties. He felt that he had been reborn, that he had completely said goodbye to the former Hutchins, that the experience of cybercrime was far away from him, abandoned in the corner of time, and no one would talk about it again.
  Hutchins was getting used to it and enjoying it, a life he had never experienced before. Hutchins became flirtatious, flaunting his talent, money, and status. In his early 20s, he had a glimpse of a new world, and Hutchins lingered on Vanity Fair, which was intoxicated with money and materialistic. It all stemmed from an accidental discovery that gave Hutchins the highest honor and a life of luxury. If Hutchins used to be careful to hide his unbearable past, now Hutchins has no scruples.
  Hutchins looked forward to his bright future and planned a new map of his life, but he would never have thought that fate had played a joke on him again.

Sadly ended

  In just 3 months, a shocking news came to the world. Hutchins, the saviour of the internet, has been arrested on suspicion of computer fraud and abuse. For a time, public opinion was in an uproar. Many Hutchins fans and supporters have come forward to support Hutchins. Hutchins didn’t accept this fact at first, and even got away with it.
  With Hutchins’ arrest, rumors about Hutchins have grown. In addition to the FBI’s allegations that he was the creator of the “Kronos” virus, some small illegal hacking activities in his early years have also been exposed. Hutchins’ status in the public mind plummeted, and people gradually began to learn about Hutchins’ disgraceful past. On Hutchins’ most proud achievement – cracking the “WannaCry” virus, the outside world also began to have different opinions. Some people say that Hutchins’ cracking of the “WannaCry” virus is just a coincidence, and there are even rumors that Hutchins is the maker of the “WannaCry” virus. This is just a self-directed and self-acted performance.
  Hutchins awaits trial in Los Angeles. The curtain fell, and the three months of life were like a play for Hutchins. At the end of the play, the people left and the field was empty, leaving Hutchins alone to sigh. At this time, he recalled the Hutchins who cried for a calf when he was a child, and marveled that he had changed so much without knowing it.
  No matter how he plays and argues, the fact that Hutchins created the banking Trojan “Kronos” is undeniable. Ultimately, Hutchins wrote on his blog: “I did plead guilty to two charges of writing malware in the years prior to my career in security. I feel sorry for these actions. I regret it and take full responsibility for my mistakes.”

After becoming famous, Hutchins got used to enjoying it.

With the involvement of the FBI, some of Hutchins’ illegal hacking activities in his early years were also exposed one after another.

On the beach in Los Angeles, Hutchins lamented, “I’ve never really walked on the beach in such a long time.”

Hutchins was arraigned.

  After several rounds of trials, Marcus Hutchins was sentenced to a year in prison, which can be served outside prison. Whether the arrest is good news or bad news for Hutchins is not known, but perhaps this is the starting point for him to complete his redemption and start over.
Epilogue

  The hacking story of Marcus Hutchins is poignant. Since Hutchins’ arrest, the debate about the hacker has never stopped. His sins are unforgivable, and his contributions are indelible.
  Maybe he used to be a kind-hearted and high-spirited teenager, but a misunderstanding and a grievance changed the direction of his life. Maybe he had his own principles and bottom lines when he first set foot in the hacking field, but after all, he could not resist the temptation of profit. Some people say that he changed from the creator of the botnet to the reverse tracker of the botnet because of his kindness in his heart, but others say that this is his self-redemption.

error: Content is protected !!