The young cyber expert who saved Britain's National Health Service from even worse damage by hackers is believed to have operated from a small bedroom in his parents' house in Devon.

Marcus Hutchins has been credited with stopping the WannaCry ransomware attack from spreading across the globe by accidentally triggering a "kill switch".

The 22-year-old self-taught cyber analyst took just a few hours to stop the breach, which had already spread to more than 200,000 victims, including the NHS, across 150 countries.

Pictures emerged of his home IT hub, crammed with pizza boxes, video games and computer servers.


Other images showed the security expert, who did not go to university, in Las Vegas on a trip to Defcon, a convention for internet hackers.

Kurtis Baron, founder of London-based Fidus Information Security, who travelled with Hutchins to Las Vegas last year, said his friend was just doing his job when he stopped the attack.

"He is a really nice friend and also a business colleague. He was just doing his job," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"If we could make him work for us, then we would employ him in a heartbeat, but he won't move."

He added: "It is not a job to him, more a passion that he happens to get paid for."

Andrew Mabbitt, the co-founder of Fidus, described Hutchins as "one of the most intelligent and talented people I know".

"He gets paid to do his hobby, which is most people's dream in life," he added.

Hutchins, who is known only as Malware Tech, is believed to live in a seaside resort in north Devon. His mother and father work in the medical industry and he has a younger brother.


His social media accounts are peppered with tweets about surfing and photos of the waves. In one tweet, he wrote: "I could move to a city but where in a city would I get this view?"

Around a year ago, he joined a "private intel threat firm" based in Los Angeles. He later made a number of references to travelling to America, including admitting being "super worried" he was "too nerdy" for Las Vegas.

Tweets by business associates during the trip show the group in a hotel room, which is littered with champagne bottles, vodka, energy drinks and takeaway pizza.

Other images show members of the party driving a Lamborghini and Ferrari in the nearby desert.

In October, he talked of hiring his first employee and posted images of computers he had set up after finding them dumped behind a supermarket.

In January, he posted a 30-second video panning around his room, which is packed with computer screens, cabling and gadgetry. He writes: "After three years of effort, I finally have a malware lab I'm happy with."


It was only at the weekend that he emerged as the accidental hero of the attack.

In a blog, he described how he stopped the spread of the virus by purchasing a web domain for £8 and redirecting it. He reportedly shouted "eureka" when he realised he had unintentionally taken down the virus.

He has also told how he shunned university and instead taught himself sophisticated hacking techniques.