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Accidental Hero? How a 22-Year-Old Stopped a Huge Cyber Attack

It was the Bard who said, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” It’s a sentiment that has proven true over and over again, and now 22-year-old Marcus Hutchins has landed himself in the third category after becoming the accidental hero of an international cyberattack.

Marcus, a self-taught coder, remained anonymous for a while before revealing his true identity. The UK-based IT genius still lives with his parents, but that didn’t stop him from preventing a large-scale hack, aptly named WannaCry, that requires users to pay hundreds of dollars in order to regain control of their computer, according to CNN.

For less than $11, Marcus bought an online domain and turned it into a kill switch for the virus.

You can read all the techy details here.

While Marcus is being hailed as an accidental hero, it’s important to know that he was ready to fight from the time he first read about the hack. In a blog post, he describes reading about the hack in the morning, then going to lunch and coming home to realize that it was bigger than he originally thought. In fact, this is being touted as one of the largest attacks ever, impacting more than 150 countries, according to CNN. 

With his newfound fame, he is sure he won’t be able to return to the anonymity he once found behind the MalwareTech facade, according to NBC News. 

One thing is for sure—this accidental hero didn’t stumble upon a fix for WannaCry. It was his training and dedication that gave him the ability to thwart the attack.

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About the author

Jessie Harbin

Jessie is a newlywed living in Meridianville with her husband and three dogs. She's learning to sail on their 26-foot sailboat in Guntersville. At the time of publication, nobody has fallen ill because of her cooking.

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