The 22-Year-Old Who Helped Stop A Cyber Meltdown Will Donate His Reward To Charity

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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The British computer researcher who helped curb the massive cyber attack that allegedly affected over 150 countries says he plans to donate his $10,000 reward to charity.

The 22-year-old tech wunderkind, identified as Marcus Hutchins by The Telegraph, says he doesn’t care about the extra attention.

“I don’t do what I do for money or fame,” Hutchins, who is known online as MalwareTechtold Business Insider. “I’d rather give the money to people who need it.”

Several entities across the world were unable to gain entry into their computer systems because of a ransomware attack that took full effect Friday.

Ransomware is a form of infected software designed to take over a computer system and then block access for the authorized user. Nefarious hackers often encrypt information vital to the performance of hospitals or other institutions, then demand money (usually in the form of BitCoin, a digital currency) in return for the encryption password. The cybercriminals only made approximately $50,000 worth of BitCoin from the hacking enterprise, according to a CNBC report published Monday.

Several hospitals and health facilities in the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) erupted into chaos after staff couldn’t access critical files and were forced to reroute emergency patients. Days later, the cyber attack’s effects were reportedly still reverberating. (RELATED: UK Government Run Health Care Was Hacked Due To 15-Year-Old Windows System)

An NHS official says the two main issues are returning the computer systems completely back to normal, and managing to reschedule all of the medical procedures and appointments, reports Financial Times.

Hutchins was able to help stave off the ransomware assault by noticing that website address in the infected code was not yet registered. He then bought it from a domain name registrar service for $10.69, which allowed him to target and dispel the malware.

Since his great and highly consequential success, people want to know more about him. But his newly gained celebrity status is not without some frustration.

The fame doesn’t seem to be all bad, though.

Not only did he get rewarded $10,000 from a “bug bounty” platform, which grants people money for solving security issues, but he was also promised free pizza for a year.

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