Continuance in MalwareTech’s Case

I thought that while I was out traveling the continent last week, I’d miss a key hearing on Thursday in MalwareTech’s (Marcus Hutchins’) case. This thread lays out the government’s responses to his challenges to his indictment; the short version is, while the government would likely defeat his Miranda challenge, they still had to put their Agents on the stand for discovery. On the other issues, the government seems to have more serious problems (notably with trying him on charges for which there are no victims). So I thought it might be a really interesting hearing that would provide a glimpse of whether the judge thinks the government has a case.

That didn’t happen. After he and his lawyers got out to Milwaukee for the hearing, they asked for and got a one month continuance.

In light of new information, defendant requests a continuance of the evidentiary hearing. Parties agree to conduct evidentiary hearing on May 16, 2018 at 1:30 P.M.

So something’s up in his case, but it’s totally unclear what it is. All of the following are possibilities:

  • As noted, the government has been going back and forth about whether they’d get a superseding indictment. Last week they said they would. That’s probably the worst case scenario to explain the new information that would lead to a continuance: new charges that might pose a more serious risk.
  • In one of last week’s filings, the government revealed that he shared a binary with someone in CA (alleging, dangerously, that that amounts to wiretapping). That must be the informant the government has been trying to hide by calling a tipster. It may be the government provided information on this guy, and the defense wants a year to research him.
  • The government had finally found the dark web materials related to the sale of the malware. They may have provided that or more details on Hutchins’ alleged co-conspirator.
  • Defendants that the government might have have been trying to coerce Hutchins to share information on — most notably Peter Levashov, who was arrested for making Kelihos (which uses a successor to Kronos) — are now in US custody. That may change the status of his case somehow.
  • The government may finally realize that it’s got real problems with its case, and is finally offering a plea that better reflects the potential legal pitfalls of their case.

As I said, it could be any of these issues, or a combination of them. All we know is something’s up in his case, and we may not find out for another month.

9 replies
  1. Joel Carper says:

    Your articles so often assume that readers have been following the stories you report on very closely.  The number of details left out in so many sentences makes it difficult to determine the importance of the commentary.

    • Ken Muldrew says:

      At the bottom of the post, you will see a line that says, “Tags: MalwareTech, Marcus Hutchins, Peter Levashov”. Click on “MalwareTech” to get all the posts relating to this topic, sorted with the most recent first. You can quickly review them to catch up.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Cliffs notes version (sorry, real short)

      Marcus Hutchins, aka MalWareTech[Blog], is a Brit computer geek that is particularily interested in malware.

      He prevented the Wannacry malware from causing more worldwide damage. He is *NOT* a bad guy.

      He came to US last year [2017] for the DEFCON hacker conference. He had a good time. But when he was to leave to head back to London, he was arrested by FBI in Las Vegas after a ‘tip’ from GCHQ on bullshit charges.

      Still, at this time, he can not leave US. After lots of legal BS, he was allowed out to live in LA, eventually without a GPS ankle bracelet.

      In LA, he learned to like the beach because the surf was not always ‘up’. He likes to cook too.

      He is getting used to LA, but sometimes he has to go to Wisconsin, where the trial is set, Why? Who the fuck knows? Only explanation is some FBI agent from Wisconsin (allegedly) saw something Marcus did on the internet years ago. Marcus had never been to Wisconsin.
      You can follow his cooking and surfing news on his twitter, but you will not see any updates on the case there as he can not talk about it.

  2. burnt says:

    Lazy commenter is lazy. News flash: I’m guessing the large majority of people who hang out here have been following the stories emptywheel writes about–for years.

    • J-Mann says:

      And for those that haven’t – bugger off!

      Quite a welcome mat you lay out for new folks. . .

  3. SpaceLifeForm says:

    To reiterate. I still do not believe ‘Randy’ exists.

    As in, a real human that could testify in court.

    Still believe the case will be dropped.



    • greengiant says:

      Exists or existed?  Adrian Lamo dead of overdose.  Chelsea Manning’s informant.   Paul Horner fake news king who thought he got Trump elected found dead of overdose.

      • bmaz says:

        You have to be fucking kidding me. You think there is some magic conspiracy of murder between a jackass idiot like Lamo with known medical problems, Paul Horner in Laveen AZ and…..what??

        Beyond fever dreams, what you got?

        • greengiant says:

          Not saying conspiracy,  just saying informants and #Fakenews click baiters have a tendency to be in the drug using clan. Possibly black mailable into doing/saying stuff.

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