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Innovation

British student prevents computer virus outbreak

The FBI is investigating a virus that a British teenager discovered in an Internet chatroom
Written by Wendy McAuliffe, Contributor on

A British teenager has prevented the outbreak of a computer virus that he discovered when logging on to an Internet chatroom. The case has now been forwarded to the FBI for further investigation.

Matthew Hillman, 18, initially reported the virus to his Internet Service Provider (ISP) BT seven weeks ago. The software engineering student discovered the backdoor Trojan Horse while surfing at his home on the Isle of Wight. The virus was designed to specifically attack people using US Internet chatrooms.

BT advised him to contact his local Police force, Hampshire, who immediately forwarded the case to the FBI.

"We had very little involvement in the case, as it wasn't a matter that relates to the business of this force," said a spokeswoman at Hampshire police. She said the matter was passed to the FBI because the virus originated from the States.

Hillman told The Telegraph that he used his course skills to track the source of the virus. "I was chatting away when I noticed a flash on the screen. I had a look about and because of the things we had been learning on the course I was able to find out where it had come from," he said.

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