The cyber security expert who fought a recent global attack has been arrested by the FBI.

British-based malware researcher Marcus Hutchins - also known as MalwareTech - gained attention this year after he discovered and triggered a “kill switch” that effectively disabled the WannaCry worm that hit computers around the world earlier this year.

Mr Hutchins has now been detained by FBI officials in Nevada on allegations dating back to 2014.

He allegedly had conspired to advertise, sell and profit from the Kronos banking virus, according to his indictment.

The Kronos allegations are not related to his work in stopping the WannaCry attack.

Twenty-three-year-old Mr Hutchins was reportedly in Las Vegas for the annual Black Hat and Def Con security conferences, which draws tens of thousands of hackers and security figures from around the world.

The FBI’s Las Vegas field office has been silent so far, but some of Mr Hutchins’ colleagues have confirmed on Twitter that he is being held.

The UK's National Cyber Security Centre has confirmed the arrest in an email to tech website Motherboard.

“We are aware of the situation. This is a law enforcement matter and it would be inappropriate to comment further,” it said.