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Boy, 15, arrested and bailed after TalkTalk data hack

Tuesday, October 27th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A 15-year-old boy from Northern Ireland has been arrested in connection with the cyber attack on TalkTalk’s website.

The TV, broadband and phone provider confirmed last week that its website had been hacked, compromising the personal data of its four million customers.

It has since said the amount of data potentially stolen is “smaller than originally thought” but will only waive termination fees if money is stolen from a customer’s bank account as a direct result of the attack.

Police have confirmed that a 15-year-old boy was arrested after officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland, working with detectives from the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit, executed a search warrant at a County Antrim address at about 4.20pm yesterday.

The teenager, who was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act, was taken into custody at a police station in County Antrim and has been bailed until a date in November while enquiries continue.

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.

“We will continue to assist with the ongoing investigation.”

Despite widespread concerns in the wake of a third security breach this year, TalkTalk has said it will waive termination fees "as a gesture of goodwill" in the "unlikely event" that money is stolen from a customer's bank account as a result of the attack.

The company said at the weekend that no ‘My Account’ passwords had been accessed and any card details that may have been stolen had the middle six digits blanked out.

'Serious incident'

“The number of customers affected and the amount of data potentially stolen is smaller than originally thought,” it said in a statement.

“Our website was attacked, but our core systems weren’t and remain secure.”

TalkTalk admitted that some banking details – account numbers and sort codes – may have been accessed but said that without more information, “criminals can’t use these to take money from your bank account".

The provider has offered customers 12 months’ free credit monitoring through credit reporting service Noddle.

In the House of Commons yesterday, culture minister Ed Vaizey praised TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding for her “openness and transparency” since the attack.

“I know that she will do all she can to protect her customers. Nevertheless, this is a very serious incident,” he told MPs.

He said the issue of whether customers will be entitled to any compensation is a matter for the Information Commissioner.

Jesse Norman, chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, said the committee would look “very closely” at the issue.

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