Foiling a global cyber attack sounds like a task for the CIA or GCHQ, including Bond-eque levels of endeavor and hoopla. Not something regularly attributed to a UK-based surfer.

The UK cyber security researcher, who tweets as @malwaretechblog (MT) and lives in Devon, found the kill switch and halted a ransomware attack which affected machines in more than 100 countries after registering a domain name hidden in the malware. This unprecedented attack affected more than 29,000 institutions across China, the Russia Interior Ministry, Fed Ex and countless others. It wreaked particular havoc in the UK’s NHS on Friday, operations were canceled, test results became unavailable and phones did not work.


This tool, a fresh variant of “WannaCry” ransomware, is suspected to have been developed by the US National Security Agency. Ransomware is a type of malware that is used by computer hackers to capture information and then extort money from the victim by locking down their computer until a specific sum is transferred.

Luckily, MT was on the case, so next time someone throws out that surfer/beach bum stereotype, remember one of us is responsible for saving the world a whole lot of headaches. We asked MT a few questions this morning as he bounced from one media request to another. Check out the vid of his phone above.

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