He developed a banking malware called Kronos and faced up to 10 years in jail.
However, the judge in the case ruled on Friday that Marcus Hutchins, @MalwareTechBlog, will not serve any additional jail time for his crimes.
Presiding Judge J. P. Stadtmueller described Hutchins, 25, as a "talented" but "youthful offender" in remarks in federal court in Milwaukee Friday.
"It’s going to take the people like [Hutchins] with your skills to come up with solutions because that’s the only way we're going to eliminate this entire subject of the woefully inadequate security protocols," said Stadmueller.
The judge also noted that Hutchins' discovery of a kill switch for the WannaCry ransomware outbreak was huge:
... Stadtmueller said the crimes Hutchins committed paled to the damage the WannaCry virus did by infecting billions of computers worldwide. He praised Hutchins' "foresight and ability to put in place in a matter of hours a kill switch" to stop the virus. "It makes the facts of the case that's before the court today virtually pale in comparison," the judge said.
Marcus Hutchins: likely banned from the United States
The judge told Hutchins that final sentencing details will likely ban him from the U.S., and Hutchins says he plans to return home to the U.K.
However, Hutchins' legal team says the judge also suggested that Hutchins do something which could allow him to return to the U.S. someday.
Brian Klein, a partner at Baker Marquart LLP and one of Hutchins' attorneys, put it like this:
"Without precedent but more than appropriately, the judge encouraged Marcus to seek a pardon. We plan to explore those opportunities."