Saturday, 27 May, 2017

Expert who beat cyberattack says he's no hero

British IT expert Marcus Hutchis who has been branded a hero for slowing down the Wanna Cry global cyber attack sits in front of his workstation during an interview in Ilfracombe England Monday Expert who beat cyberattack says he's no hero
Frank Williams | 19 May, 2017, 23:56

British surfer Marcus Hutchins became an "accidental hero" after halting the global spread of the unprecedented attack.

Kryptos Logic chief executive Salim Neino said Hutchins' quick work allowed him to slow the virus on Friday afternoon European time, before it could fully affect the United States. The company offers "a suite of services and solutions to disrupt attacker tactics, techniques, and procedures", according to its website.

But Mr Hutchins, who works for Los Angeles-based Kryptos Logic but is from Ilfracombe in north Devon, spent the weekend fighting against the virus that meant computer systems were able to return to relative normality. He noticed the malware "queried" an unregistered domain address which he bought for around $15.

Medical staff reported seeing computers go down "one by one" as the Wanna Decryptor ransomware, also known as WannaCry, took hold, locking machines and demanding money to release the data.

Marcus - who goes by the online moniker MalwareTech - told MailOnline: "I'm not so anxious with emails, it's supposedly that this ransomware actually drops a back door and we don't know yet if our fix kills the backdoor as well".

"'If they know where I live, they could really do anything", he said.

"I just don't [think] that what I did was that significant", MalwareTech said to CNN. It was a very exciting moment.

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The self-taught cybersecurity expert is now working with the United Kingdom government's National Cyber Security Centre to prevent a new strain of the malicious software from emerging, The Daily Mail reported, adding that he has no plans to leave his current job despite having been inundated with job offers.

But Marcus Hutchins doesn't consider himself a hero.

It's not uncommon for members to use aliases, to protect from retaliatory attacks and ensure privacy, and Hutchins has long tweeted under the handle MalwareTech, which features a profile photo of a pouty-faced cat wearing enormous sunglasses.

Earlier on, he told The Guardian that he wanted to stay anonymous "because it just doesn't make sense to give out my personal information, obviously we're working against bad guys and they're not going to be happy about this".

It is likely to be a big adjustment. The concept of celebrity was clearly foreign to him. But even that made the fame-averse Hutchins so nervous that he initially misspelled his last name, leaving out the letter "n" when doing a sound-level for the cameras.

Many will be following his next moves though. CyberSecurity Ventures, which tracks the industry, estimates global spending on cybersecurity will jump to $120 billion this year from just $3.5 billion in 2004.

"The unprecedented cybercriminal activity we are witnessing is generating so much cyber spending, it's become almost impossible for analysts to keep track". On waves this time.

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