Boy, 15, arrested in Northern Ireland over TalkTalk cyber-attack

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

15yo teen arrested in British ISP TalkTalk hack investigation.

The arrest is the first major development since the phone and broadband provider said last week it had been hacked, prompting warnings from the company that the bank details and personal information of its four million customers may have been accessed. UK authorities have arrested a 15-year-old teenager who is believed to have been involved in last week’s TalkTalk hack which compromised millions of user accounts and their personal data, including names, email addresses and some financial details. The boy was arrested in County Antrim at about 4.20pm on Monday by officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), working with detectives from the Metropolitan police’s cybercrime unit (MPCCU). Scotland Yard has confirmed that Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit (MPCCU) officers, together with Northern Ireland’s Cyber Crime Centre and the National Crime Agency, detained a 15-year-old teen in Northern Ireland on “suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offenses.” “An arrest has been made in connection with the investigation into alleged data theft from the TalkTalk website,” a spokesman for Britain’s Metropolitan Police said.

Last week some experts gave credence to a theory that the attack was the work of highly-skilled Islamist jihadists in Russia, following anonymous internet postings claiming responsibility. A statement from TalkTalk said: “We know this has been a worrying time for customers and we are grateful for the swift response and hard work of the police. If that theory proves unfounded and the attack on TalkTalk was more amateur in nature, the company is likely to face tough questions from customers over how it protects their data.

Earlier on Monday it was announced that TalkTalk executives are to be summoned before MPs to explain how hackers were able to steal customer bank details as the company continues to try to limit the damage of last week’s cyber-attack. On Monday the culture minister, Ed Vaizey, told the House of Commons that an inquiry into the TalkTalk hack will be launched by Jesse Norman, chair of the culture, media and sport select committee. Shares in the embattled broadband and pay-TV firm fell 12% on Monday as city traders came to terms with the potential fallout of the hacking episode, the third possible data breach in 10 months. We will continue to assist with the ongoing investigation.” North Antrim MP Ian Paisley received a briefing today from police in relation to the TalkTalk security breach and he said: “The type of attack suffered by TalkTalk once again highlights the significant danger that cybercrime poses and the impact that it can have on the community. “Virtually every household will have banking or other personal information stored by companies on computer systems and should those systems be compromised it can leave people vulnerable to a range of crimes. “I welcome that the PSNI have secured evidence and been able to make this arrest. TalkTalk said on Saturday that the amount of information was “materially lower” than first feared and insisted that it would be impossible for customers to lose any money solely as a result of the cyber-attack.

I know that in this instance they are working hand in hand with the Metropolitan police as they investigate a crime which has caused concern to people right across the United Kingdom. The Daily Telegraph can also disclose that millions of people who cancelled their TalkTalk contracts years ago may have fallen victim to the cyber attack. The company chief executive, Dido Harding, insisted in the wake of the hack that the company’s cybersecurity was “head and shoulders” better than its competitors.

One, Adrian Culley, a former Metropolitan police detective and now a security consultant, has likened it to the Great Train robbery and said the potentially liability for TalkTalk could be “huge”. At the moment we can’t rule it out. “It’s easy for us to pull our existing customers’ details and email them but it’s not so easy for us to do that for former customers. Announcing the inquiry, Vaizey described the hack as “very serious”, although he said any compensation for customers would be a matter for the information commissioner.

An ICO spokesperson said: “Our investigations into previous incidents are ongoing, and it wouldn’t be appropriate to presume a company had breached the Data Protection Act until our enquiries are complete. If anyone has concerns they should contact us.” Baroness Harding, the TalkTalk chief executive whose pay package was more than £6.8 million last year, has said the company could face a compensation bill running into millions for customers whose bank accounts were raided.

But what is clear is that organisations do need to make sure they have the appropriate level of security in place to protect the customer information they hold. If they don’t, we will act.” Vaizey said the ICO can already levy “significant fines” but told MPs he was “open to suggestions” about how the situation could be “improved”.

Having warned them that their computer was under threat of virus, they have successfully taken over the customer’s computer and gone on to apply a sophisticated scam and emptied their bank account.

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