TalkTalk cyber attack ‘smaller than originally thought’

24 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hackers can’t raid bank accounts, claims TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding.

TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc said the cyber attack on its website this week probably gleaned less financial information than initially thought, and not enough to allow access to customers’ bank accounts. “We now expect the amount of financial information that may have been accessed to be materially lower than initially believed and would on its own not enable a criminal to take money from your account,” a spokesman added.

British broadband provider TalkTalk said on Saturday it did not believe the authors of a cyber attack against it this week would be able to steal money from its customers.A mass of confidential information has been stolen and released online, those immediately affected are upset, and the government is trying without success to bring the perpetrator to justice.

Baroness Harding warned customers never to give out financial details if they are contacted by phone or email by anyone asking for personal information. “TalkTalk will never call you and ask you over the phone to give your personal financial information, we will never call you out of the blue and ask you to give us access to your computer. “I know that to people listening 36 hours feels like a long time but we had teams working around the clock to get the sense of the scale of the attack and we communicated it before we knew that. Whether the information released endangers diplomatic relations, customers’ banking security, or a reality TV star’s marriage, the tools to track and punish the hackers are about the same. “We’re living in a world where we can’t easily tell the difference between a couple of guys in a basement apartment and the North Korean government with an estimated $10 billion military budget,” security expert Bruce Schneier wrote for The Christian Science Monitor. “Everyone from lone hackers to criminals to hypothetical cyberterrorists to nations’ spies and soldiers are using the same tools and the same tactics.” The UK company TalkTalk, an internet, TV, and mobile provider is the most recent victim of an unknown hacker or group of hackers. The company, which has had two other data breaches this year, also said that the attack did not hit its systems and that customers’ website account passwords had not been accessed. TalkTalk said Wednesday that an attack had breached its cyber security defenses, but it remains unclear how much consumer data – including bank information, names, and email addresses – hackers could have stolen and decoded. Adultery website was hit in July and the perpetrators ended up releasing information they said included details of more than 36 million users including full names, e-mails and banking information.

But British business leaders on Saturday warned about the danger of cyber crime and urged police to make the issue an urgent priority, saying firms faced continual security breaches. A person claiming to be responsible for the TalkTalk hack contacted the company seeking payment, a spokeswoman said on Friday, declining to say how much the person asked for. The stock fell the most in more than two years in London after the company said it had been the victim of a “significant and sustained” hack on Wednesday. Unless an idealistic digital enthusiast or an official representative of a sitting government wants to admit the deed, assigning blame and aportioning punishment for cyber attacks is difficult. Business leaders have taken advantage of the TalkTalk hacking to note that while only major hacker attacks make the news, they constantly harass businesses, the BBC reported.

Data theft should be given the same investigative priority as physical theft, said Oliver Parry, an advisor to the Institute of Directors, to police.

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