Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Surfer worked from bedroom to beat cyberattack

Surfer worked from bedroom to beat cyberattack

Mr Hutchins' major contribution to helping stop the crippling cyber attack has gained him world-wide attention. But, fuelled by pizza, reports suggest Marcus nipped it in the bud within fifteen minutes.

"I've seen posts about the awful things people have done to him and for me in future it could be the same things", MalwareTech said.

In an interview with the publication, one of the IT expert's friends said the surfer "was just doing his job" when he managed to stop the virus in its tracks.

Marcus explained how he tackled the virus, saying he linked it to an unregistered web address.

Salim Neino, chief executive of Kryptos Logic, said Mr Hutchins took over the "kill switch" on Friday afternoon European time, before it could fully affect the United States.

Researchers at U.S. software company Symantec and South Korean antivirus software company Hauri have also found similarities between WannaCry malware and the previous attacks blamed on North Korea. It was a very exciting moment. Nevertheless, he said the worm was "poorly designed" - patched together and a "sum of different parts" with an unsophisticated payment system.

"I've still been working across from my company Kryptos Logic, we've been trying to provide the sort of, the IP addresses to NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, so that victims can be notified", he said.

Mr Hutchins himself is part of a global community that constantly watches for attacks and works to thwart them, often sharing information on Twitter.

The episode has meant Hutchins sacrificing his prized anonymity, but some people thought it was worth it.

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"I don't think I'm ever going back to the MalwareTech that everyone knew", said the curly-haired young man, shrugging and flashing a winning smile.

Hutchins' mother Janet, a nurse, couldn't be prouder - and was happy to have the veil of anonymity lifted.

But Suiche said that's unlikely in this case, because WannaCry uses a separate AES encryption key for each file and destroys the private key early on in the infection routine. "I had planned to go to university but ended up getting offered a job in security a year prior, so I took it.'I'm completely self-taught so in hindsight university would probably not have been worth the time or money", he said.

And now Marcus is somewhat of a celebrity.

And now Marcus has said he is working with the National Cyber Security Centre amid fears the chaos will return when Brits turn on their computers after the weekend.

"On Monday morning at the start of the new working week it's likely that successful attacks from Friday that haven't yet become apparent will become apparent", he said. Hutchins lives with his family in this seaside town, where he works out of his bedroom on a sophisticated computer setup with three enormous screens. It forecasts expenditures will grow between 12 per cent and 15 per cent annually for the next five years.

His social media accounts are peppered with tweets about surfing and photos of the waves.

The researcher - who is known as MalwareTech on Twitter and has been described as an "accidental hero" - registered a garbled domain name hidden in the malware to track the virus, unintentionally halting it in the process.

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