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Police Arrest Welsh Youth For TalkTalk Hack Blackmail

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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Arrests just keep coming as another youngster is arrested for last month’s damaging cyberattack

British police have arrested yet another teenager in connection with last month’s damaging hack of Internet Service Provider (ISP) TalkTalk.

The 18-year-old youth from Wales was arrested in an investigation has so far seen the arrests of four other youngsters.

Another Arrest

Earlier this month TalkTalk confirmed that the total number of customers whose personal details had been accessed was 156,959.

Of that, no more than 15,656 bank account numbers and sort codes were accessed. The ISP also admitted that 28,000 obscured credit and debit card numbers were also accessed.

TalkTalk TVThe resulting police investigation has been extensive and the police initially arrested a 15-year-old boy from Northern Ireland and a 16-year-old boy from Feltham, west London, in connection with the attack. They later arrested a 20-year-old man in south Staffordshire and a 16-year-old boy in Norwich.

All were arrested for suspected of Computer Misuse Act offences and have been bailed pending further inquiries.

But in a twist, the Northern Ireland schoolboy arrested has taken legal action against The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The Sun, as well as Google and Twitter, for alleged breach of privacy.

Legal measures has also been taken to ensure the removal of information published about the boy and where he lives. The boy’s family has apparently had to move home due to the publicity surrounding his arrest.

Ransom Demand

Meanwhile the latest arrest is that of an 18-year lad in Wales, who was detained on suspicion of blackmail. Police searched an address in the town of Llanelli. The unnamed youth has been released on bail and must report back to police in March next year.

TalkTalk said on 23 October that the corporate email account of Chief Executive Dido Harding had received a ransom demand from the group claiming to be responsible for the attack

The ISP was hit with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack and suspected data theft on 21 October 2015.

TalkTalk has responded to adverse publicity by offering free services to customers, telling investors that the incident is likely to cost between £30 and £35 million.

Customers will be able to choose a ‘selection’ of additional TV content, a mobile SIM with various allowances, unlimited UK and landline calls, and a broadband ‘health check’ from an engineer.

Users will also have access to a bundle of security products to minimise risk from online and phone scams.

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