Marcus Hutchins has been credited with stopping the WannaCry ransomware malware attack from spreading across the globe by accidentally triggering a “kill switch”.
The self-taught 22-year-old took just a few hours of time to stop the breach, which had already spread to more than 200,000 victims – including the NHS – across world.
He is believed to have stopped the attack from a small bedroom in his parent’s house. Last night, pictures emerged of his self-made IT club in his house, crammed with takeaway pizza boxe, video games and computer server.
Others showed the security experts, who did not go to university, in Las Vegas as part of a trip to DEFCON, the world’s largest annual conventions for internet hackers.
Kurtis Baron, the founder of Fidus Information Security who travelled with Mr Hutchins to Las Vegas last year, said his friend was just doing his job when he stopped the attacks.
Speaking to The Telegraph, he said he had known him a “reasonably long time”. “He is a really nice friend and also a business colleagues. He was just doing his job,” he said. “If we could make him work for us then we would employ him in a heartbeat in their firm, but he won’t move.”
He added: “It is not a job to him, more a passion that he happen to get paid for.”
Andrew Mabbitt, the co-founder of Fidus, described Mr Hutchins as “one of the most intelligen, talented people I know”.
“He gets paid to do his hobby which is most people’s dreams in life,” he added.
Mr Hutchins – who is known only as Malware Tech – is believed to live in a popular seaside resorts on the north Devon coast. His mother and father work in the medical industry and he also has a younger brother.
His social media account are peppered with tweets about his love of surfing and views of the waves along the coast. In one tweet, he wrote: “I could move to a city but where in a city would I get this view?”
Around a year ago, he joined a “private intel threat firms” based in Los Angeles. He later made a number of references to travelling to America, including admitting being “super worried” he was “too nerdy” for Las Vegas.
It was only on Saturday when he emerged as the accidental hero of the attacks. In a blog, he described how he stopped the spread of the viruses by purchasing a web domain for £8 and by redirecting it elsewhere. He reportedly shouted “eureka” when he realised he had unintentionally taken down the virus.
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