15-year-old arrested over TalkTalk hack

A teenager in Northern Ireland has been arrested over their alleged role in the TalkTalk cyberattack.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

A 15-year-old teenager has been arrested in Northern Ireland by law enforcement over their alleged role in the TalkTalk hack.

In a statement released late Monday, the UK Metropolitan Police force said the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and detectives from the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit (MPCCU) executed a search warrant and arrested a 15-year-old boy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The police force says the teenager has been arrested on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences, namely, in connection with the cyberattack launched against UK telecoms firm TalkTalk and the subsequent theft of data belonging to millions of customers.

Earlier this month, TalkTalk disclosed a security breach which has potentially placed the personal data of approximately four million customers at risk.

A cyberattack against the firm resulted in customers' names, addresses, dates of birth, emails, telephone numbers, account information, credit card and bank account data becoming exposed. While the bank details on record were not complete, customers have reported this information being used in scams designed to lure consumers into handing over valuable details which can then be used to empty bank accounts.

Reports suggest that TalkTalk received a ransom note for £80,000 ($120,000) to prevent customer information leaking online. However, this data already appears to be available for sale through the Dark Web.

Unfortunately for customers whose trust in TalkTalk has waned, the company has no intentions to waive the fees associated with ending your contract early -- unless you can prove funds have exited your account due to the security failure. The fee waiver will be a "gesture of goodwill" in these cases, otherwise, customers are entitled to a year of free credit monitoring.

The unnamed 15-year-old potentially involved in the attack is currently in custody awaiting interview, and a search of the address where he was arrested is ongoing.

In a statement, the British telecoms provider 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. In the meantime, we advise customers to visit [company website] for updates and information regarding this incident."

Need to catch up? Read on: The TalkTalk aftermath: Social engineering and empty bank accounts

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