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ISPA hails 'hero' blogger who stopped global ransomware attack

Tuesday, July 18th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Marcus Hutchins, the tech blogger who found the Wannacry kill switch, was named Internet Hero at last week’s ISPA awards.

Mr Hutchins, a 22-year-old Malware Tech blogger, halted the spread of ransomware that had plagued organisations around the world including the NHS.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was given the less coveted prize of Internet Villain for his commitment to censorship and attacks on freedom of speech online.

The awards, run by the Internet Services Providers Association, took place at London’s Café de Paris last week and featured a keynote address from Ciaran Martin, the head of the National Cyber Security Centre.

Hyperoptic won the award for ‘best superfast broadband’ for the fifth year running and its managing director Dana Tobak was named ‘executive of the year’ after more than a decade driving innovation in the industry.

Steve Holford, Hyperoptic’s chief customer officer, said the ISPA awards are a key date in the company’s calendar.

“Over the last six years we have worked tirelessly to build a full fibre network that gives consumers and businesses the best Internet experience possible.

“Changing the face of an established market was an audacious goal, but we are having enormous success in shaking up the UK broadband industry – we are grateful for the annual recognition we receive from our trade association.”

The award for best rural broadband went to Gigaclear for what ISPA called its “pioneering approach” to delivering fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband.

'Stir the pot'

Gigaclear CEO Matthew Hare said the provider would not rest on its laurels and would “continue to push towards our goal of ensuring that every rural community has access to an ultrafast internet connection”.

Zen Internet won the award for best wholesale broadband after impressing judges with its wholesale FTTP network.

Zen’s managing director for wholesale, David Hudson, said: “The investment we have made means partners connect to the largest independent network in the UK, and one of the most advanced in Europe.

“They also tap into a huge pool of accumulated experience in our excellent support staff, and service that we think is second is none.”

The award for best business broadband went to London-based Venus Communications for the second year in a row.

Brian Iddon, a founder and former director of Venus Communications, said: “This is not an easy market to operate in but we are determined to stir the pot a bit – it’s time for agile and flexible companies to show the big boys how it’s done.”

ISPA secretary general Nicholas Lansman said: “There was strong competition this year, and we saw some real innovation and commitment to development among the nominations.

“The Hero and Villain Awards are a bit of fun, but – as ever – showcase today’s pressing issues online. Unsurprisingly, cyber security and the encroachment of government censorship online were two issues voters felt passionately about.

“Here at ISPA we’re pleased to say that they’re two issues we’ve been addressing with our members for a long time, and will, of course, continue to do so.”

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