TalkTalk Payment Breach Could Cost Millions

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

How credulous we are when we go online.

Chief executive Dido Harding said she had called in defence specialists from BAE Systems to help protect her company’s networks after the attack was discovered last week. TalkTalk shares have slumped another 7% in the wake of last week’s cyber-attack which could have led to the theft of personal data from its 4m customers. It is not yet able to say how many of its customers were affected by the breach, in which peoples’ names, addresses and partial bank account details were stolen.

Baroness Harding of Winscombe emphasised that the security breach that put a still unknown proportion of her four million customers at risk of fraud had not been as devastating as originally feared. Initial rumours of the irresistible brilliance of “jihadi” hackers rather melted when the CEO Baroness Harding admitted on air to not even knowing whether personal customer data got encrypted. But there have been growing calls for compensation, even though the company said on Saturday that the amount of information was “materially lower” than first feared and claimed it would be impossible for customers to lose money solely as a result of the attack. In other words, although official inquiries will wind onwards, it seems clear that when you are processing and handling the personal and financial details of four million people you can’t be too careful. TalkTalk’s boss said customers’ names, addresses, dates of birth and some bank details may have been accessed, but full credit card numbers and passwords were safe. “Concerns regarding reputational damage and potential customer compensation claims appear to be weighing on the share price this morning,” said Hargreaves Lansdown’s Keith Bowman.

TalkTalk customers remain exposed to so-called phishing phone calls, where scammers attempt to trick them into revealing the remaining information necessary to access their bank accounts.

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