The security researcher who helped block a recent global ransomware campaign on Monday pleaded not guilty to charges of creating banking malware, and a federal judge allowed him to keep using the internet while he awaited trial. Marcus Hutchins, who is accused of coding and advertising the Kronos banking trojan, will be allowed to live in Los Angeles and continue using a computer and accessing the internet—an unusual arrangement for a defendant in a cybercrime case, according to former federal prosecutors.

"'Unusual' is putting it lightly,'" said Ed McAndrew, who spent seven years handling cyber cases as an assistant U.S. attorney in Delaware. McAndrew, now a partner at Ballard Spahr, said he suspected that the government believed it couldn't convince the judge of the need to keep the 23-year-old security researcher offline. "They may have just decided that they're fighting a losing battle and they're not going to push too hard," he told MC.

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