Man who saved the NHS from hackers says 'super invasive' British tabloids are forcing him to move house

Marcus Hutchins blamed journalists for doxing his friends and publishing a picture of his house

Rachael Revesz
Sunday 21 May 2017 09:45 BST
Malware attack hero Marcus Hutchins speaks publicly

The 22-year-old cyber whizz who shut down a massive cyber hack against the NHS has accused tabloid journalists of being “super invasive” and forcing him to move house.

Marcus Hutchins, who became famous overnight after he accidentally activated a “kill switch” to shut down a malware attack on NHS computer and phone systems across the UK, has blasted the media for intruding into his personal life, publishing false details about him, stalking his friends and publishing his address.

On his twitter feed, Mr Hutchins claimed that he had misjudged how “horrible” his “five minutes of fame” would become after he stopped the WannaCry virus as it spread around the world.

“British tabloids are super invasive,” he said.

Mr Hutchins added that a journalist had “doxed [obtained details online about] a friend then rang them offering money for my gf's [girlfriend’s] name and phone number, one turned up at another friend's house.”

“Tabloids here don't care about the story, they care about every detail of the person behind it and will go to extreme lengths to find out,” he wrote.

Mr Hutchins from north Devon works for US security firm Kryptos Logic from his parents’ bedroom, trying to stop “botnets” from hacking computer systems.

“One of the largest UK newspapers published a picture of my house, full address, and directions to get there... now I have to move.

“This is why I tried to remain anonymous and prefer to stick to twitter. Ya'll friendly and don't stalk too much.”

The 22-year-old, who failed his IT GCSE after his high school falsely accused him of hacking their system, ended the thread by saying he was “sorry about the rant”, but was “just really sick of people claiming [he] want[s]/wanted fame”.

Several hours later, he also entreated people “not to witch-hunt journalists” following his comments, saying that there were “good ones”.

He also claimed he had received a $30 dentist bill for an appointment he missed during the WannaCry attack.

His comments follow a hacking attack across 60 NHS trusts and organisations in England and Scotland, forcing the NHS to operate via pen and paper and causing chaos for thousands of scheduled appointments.

The health service was criticised for using an outdated Windows XP operating system.

Jeremy Hunt confirmed last week that there had not been a second wave of attacks and encouraged “everyone” to prevent future attacks by backing up their data properly and investing in anti-virus software.

Theresa May praises NHS staff in wake of cyber attack

NHS Digital said it had made health trusts aware in April of IT protection that could have prevented the damage.

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