Feeds

Teenager finds virus, acclaimed world-saving genius

The accidental hero

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Last week the UK press fell over itself to announce that an 18 year-old British computer studies student had saved the World.

Matthew Hillman, from the Isle of Wight, was first hailed a genius in a Sun exclusive but news of his stupendous achievement could not be contained and he was soon lionised in the Telegraph and acclaimed by the BBC.

Reading the articles you'd get the idea the young lad was a genius on the par with Alan Turing. So what had he done?

Invented a cure for cancer?

Err, no.

Thought up a way of saving the rain forests?

Emm, not that either.

So what had he done you wonder. Well he happened upon some malicious script during an Internet Relay Chat session, figures out around 400 sites might be affected, and then told the authorities about it. And, err, that's it.

For this he was hailed as a genius who has saved businesses millions, despite the fact that this is an everyday occurrence.

There's little to differentiate the story other than it was picked up by a local news agency and given the full treatment in The Sun, where it was obviously a slow news day.

We don't really blame it for that but The Telegraph's Stewart Payne and the BBC, which referred to a virus it called the "Trojan horse" throughout its uncredited piece, really ought to know better. Poor form, chaps. ®

External Links

COMPUTER LAD, 18, SAVES THE WORLD (The Sun)
Student spotted 'Trojan horse' hacker (BBC)
Alert student prevents internet virus chaos(The Telegraph)

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?