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WIRED
80 mins | May 13, 2020

The confessions of Marcus Hutchins, the hacker who saved the internet

At 22, he single-handedly put a stop to the worst cyberattack the world had ever seen: WannaCry. The self-propagating piece of malware exploded across the planet, destroying data on hundreds of thousands of computers, and it was Marcus Hutchins who found and triggered the secret kill switch contained in its code, "neutering WannaCry's global threat immediately." Then, he was arrested by the FBI. Andy Greenberg tells Hutchings' fascinating untold story in WIRED magazine. "Beyond all of that, he was tormented by the truth: Despite all the talk of his heroics, he knew that he had, in fact, done exactly what he was accused of. A feeling of overwhelming guilt had set in the moment he first regained access to the internet and checked his Twitter mentions a month after his arrest. “All of these people are writing to the FBI to say ‘you've got the wrong guy.’ And it was heartbreaking,” Hutchins says. “The guilt from this was a thousand times the guilt I'd felt for Kronos.” He says he was tempted to publish a full confession on his blog, but was dissuaded by his lawyers."

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