15-Year-Old Teen Arrested in Connection to TalkTalk Hack

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Amid the slew of chaos following the TalkTalk hack, a breach that hit the biggest phone and broadband provider in the U.K. with more than 4 million active customers, a teen has been arrested in alleged connection to the hack.

The Police of Service in Northern Ireland (PSNI) and investigators from the Metropolitan police cyber crime unit (MPCCU) have arrested a 15-year-old teen in connection to the latest hack that plagued TalkTalk not more than a week ago.

A press release issued by Irish authorities said the boy was detained in County Antrim at about 4:20pm on Monday afternoon under the suspicion of committing crimes related to the Computer Misuse act.

The Computer Misuse Act of 1990 in the United Kingdom falls into a long list of offenses including:

  • Unauthorized access to computer material
  • Unauthorized access with the intent to commit further offenses
  • Unauthorized acts with the intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of the computers, and other electronic devices

Individuals charged under the Computer Misuse act could commit any of the crimes above and the act often carries a serious punishment of prison time and paying out a hefty fine.

“The teenager was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990,” the police said speaking on the 15-year-old’s arrest. “He was taken into custody at a County Antrim police station where he will be interviewed. A search of the address is under way and enquiries continue.”

The recent breach in TalkTalk networks has put some 4 million U.K. customers bank information and other personally identifiable information at risk.

It is also reported that a majority of information stolen in the TalkTalk hack was stored unencrypted directly on TalkTalk servers.

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Tough to say, but this isn’t the first time TalkTalk has been hacked this year, the telecom giant has been repeatedly been the target of hackers, this being their third successful hack just this past year. Amazing such a large company with such a terrible tract record can continue to operate.

Apart of the hack, the unknown TalkTalk hackers demanded the company pay an astronomical £80,000 (~USD $122,000) bitcoin ransom and in turn they would not release stolen data.

Security experts believe hackers were able to successfully siphon off data with a SQL infection (SQLi) attack, a method of attack used to inject SQL commands to breach the targets database and steal whatever personal information is stored.

Amid the news of the 15-year-old teen’s arrest in connection with the hack, 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 in the ongoing investigation.”

After backlash against the company’s obviously failing cyber security measures, Chief Executive of TalkTalk Diana Mary Harding released a statement, once again stressing the serious need for cyber security.

“This is happening to a huge number of organisations all the time. The awful truth is that every company, every organisation in the UK needs to spend more money and put more focus on cyber security — it is the crime of our era,” Harding said. “In some ways I would love to say this is just a TalkTalk issue, I’d love to believe this is just us – but it isn’t.”

For security measures, affected TalkTalk customers should immediately change their account password as well as other sites you may have used that password on. Since hackers now have customers credentials, they can begin to abuse them elsewhere, possibly affecting more than just your TalkTalk account. It is highly recommended customers keep an eye on their bank statement for the next couple of months.

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[Photo via Ewan McIntosh/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)]

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Brandon Stosh is the founder and CEO of www.freedomhacker.net. Stosh is a cyber security researcher and professional consultant who strives to provide reliable news on cyber-security based topics.

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