Courage is very concerned about the FBI’s arrest of MalwareTech as he was boarding his plane to leave the United States after attending Defcon. In May this year, WannaCry malware closed hospitals in the UK, becoming the first ransomware attack to represent an actual threat to life. In halting the spread of WannaCry before the US woke up, MalwareTech did the world an enormous service – and to American businesses in particular.
No information was released about MalwareTech’s arrest for 24 hours after it happened. He has still not been able to speak to his family or legal representation. As testimony given in Lauri Love’s extradition case last year showed, the US treats hackers far worse than other countries do, with much longer prison sentences, a dearth of vital health care and rampant solitary confinement.Security research in the public interest needs to be properly recognised and we will be watching this case closely.