This is Steatoda grossa AKA the cupboard spider & one of the false widows. I have caught a few of these in the bedroom & bathroom, I was intending to put them outside, but they all escaped in the living room whilst I was trying to take pictures of them...I had one in a jar for a little while, it didn't seem to want to leave, but then it moulted & ran away. I haven't seen any since.
Steatoda nobilis is the one grabbing the headlines...these tend to be more visible (females anyway) as they hang out in webs around eye level. S grossa seems to prefer being lower down, in the dark & away from heavy footfall (children & pets). You may well be seeing males, recklessly wandering around in plain view through their desire to find a mate, before they die.
"but how come all of the media hysteria has arisen?" Because they hope it sells papers.