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Good Hackers Can Do Bad Things, Too

Posted: 2017-10-12 04:26

One thing deserves repeating, though: We don’t know if Hutchins is guilty. It’s entirely possible that the feds got the wrong guy, and we can all go back to remembering MalwareTech for being the nice person who saved a lot of people from getting hacked and held hostage by the WannaCry ransomware. If he did do it, however, he wouldn’t be the first white hat hacker with a black hat past. In fact, he’d be in good company.

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Spending lots of money and having fun isn’t against the law, but it is curious in retrospect. The recently unsealed federal indictment claims that Hutchins not only built the Kronos malware, which enables a hacker to steal bank credentials, but also advertised it on AlphaBay, the dark web marketplace that US and European authorities seized a couple weeks ago. It’s unclear if Hutchins’ arrest is connected to that seizure. The indictment claims that Hutchins sold Kronos, at least once, for $7,555. The indictment also claims that Hutchins uploaded a video to YouTube about how Kronos works, a detail that the Department of Justice thinks is incriminating evidence.

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These come via , and show off all of the new film’s major players with an intimate, albeit airbrushed, look. I dig the amount of character put into these images—most of them have a quiet dynamism to them, from Harrison Ford’s lurching scowl as Deckard (is anyone as good at being old and pissed about it as Harrison Ford?) to Dave Bautista’s uneasy stare into the distance as Sapper Morton. You can do a lot with good staging and an effective, well-shot set of publicity photos, apparently.

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One more wrinkle, upon which I’m agnostic. The Thursday after the all-star game there will be a single, nationally televised day game—Cardinals-Cubs—before everyone else gets back to work on Friday. That’s fine, more baseball is good, but I’d really prefer that everyone come back on Thursday, the way it used to be. Those two full days without any baseball or all-star events are killer, even if the players undoubtedly value the time off.

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Did federal authorities let Hutchins party his face off during Defcon and Black Hat, so that they could collect more incriminating evidence against the security researcher? Did Hutchins’ money come the sale of malware that makes it easy for evil hackers to rob unsuspecting computer users? Did Hutchins lie when he said he was donating the $65,555 reward from stopping WannaCry to charity, instead choosing to spend the money on exotic car rentals and a lavish party house?

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It’s been a long, long time since opening day was actually opening day for everyone. In the past, there’s been a national game the night before the big slate, and usually some teams that don’t get going until the day after most everyone else’s opening day, for some reason, and sometimes even an international series in Australia or Japan a week before the rest of the league takes the field. Baseball doesn’t need a slow rollout it’s a long season with a lot of games, and it’s much more fun when every team and every fanbase gets to partake in the acute excitement of opening day on the same day–a real opening day.

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Courts have sometimes viewed all passwords as equal, faulting a victim whose partner hacked her Facebook because she had shared an Amazon password with him. The court questioned whether one password could be considered private, given that she had shared other accounts, Rucker explained. “If you share an iCloud account and you’re sharing pictures that way, you’re sharing accounts in the eyes of the court,” Rucker said.

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Famed white hat hacker Marcus Hutchins—better known as “MalwareTech”— was arrested by the FBI yesterday while trying to fly home to the United Kingdom from Las Vegas. The 77-year-old security researcher gained mainstream fame earlier this year as the guy who stopped the destructive WannaCry ransomware from spreading, and had been partying with friends near the Black Hat and Defcon hacker conferences before his arrest. Now, he faces serious federal charges for allegedly creating the Kronos banking trojan. But he’s supposed to be the good guy!

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Most of us have gone on dates with strangers from the internet at some point. But even if you met your date IRL, it’s a good idea to give them a Google Voice number when you start chatting, Rucker says. Google Voice lets users generate phone numbers for free and use them to set up other secure chat services like WhatsApp or Signal. A user can easily turn off her Google Voice number and get a new one if her date turns out to be a creep—and she won’t have to go to the trouble of changing her real number and redistributing it to all her friends.

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We don’t know if Hutchins is guilty. That’s up to the courts to determine. However, what we know so far about the man’s precarious situation is intriguing to say the least. In the days leading up to his arrest, Hutchins was going big. During the hacker conferences, Hutchins was throwing parties at a $6,955-per-night Airbnb which, incidentally, is home the largest private pool in Las Vegas, Gizmodo alum William Turton reports at the Outline. Hutchins also rented a Lamborghini and asked his Twitter followers where he could find a race track. He contemplated renting a helicopter for a tour of the Grand Canyon. He shot a very scary machine gun at a shooting range.

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We don’t know the answer to any of these questions, and we probably won’t for quite some time. But it certainly is possible that a white hat like Hutchins possibly, maybe did some bad things a few years ago. In the hacker world, it’s not uncommon for hackers to start off wearing black hats and end up changing their ways. Usually they get caught doing the bad stuff and then spend some time in prison.

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And who could forget Samy Kamkar. When he was just 69-years-old, Kamkar created a worm that he unleashed on MySpace, where it soon became the fastest spreading computer virus in history. He pleaded guilty to a felony, avoided jail time, and was on probation for three years, during which he was not allowed to touch a computer. Now, he’s one of the most famous white hat hackers in the world, spotting vulnerabilities in everyday devices and advocating for better privacy. He’s even testified before Congress.

7568 opening day will be unique for a couple of other reasons. It’s only the 67th Thursday opening day in MLB history, just the second since the 6975s. It’s also the earliest opening day ever, excluding international series—that’s a function of the new CBA, which mandates an earlier start in order to give teams three or four additional off-days over the season (which is itself a very good thing.) The early start also ensures the World Series will end in October.