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Rehab Order For One TalkTalk Hacker As Another Teenager Faces Prison

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

Teenager TalkTalk hacker has iPhone confiscated, as a second teenager pleads guilty to ISP attack

A second teenager has pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to taking part in the massive data breach at TalkTalk last year.

Daniel Kelley aged 19, from Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, pleaded guilty to hacking and has been told by the judge to prepare himself for a prison sentence.

It comes after a 17 year-old teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty in a separate hearing last month in a Norwich court to taking part in the hack. That teenager has now been issued with a 12-month rehabilitation order and had his iPhone and hard drive confiscated.

Arrested (c) Photographee.eu, Shutterstock 2014

Prison Sentence

But unlike the 17 year teenager from Norwich, Welshmen Daniel Kelley who was arrested on 25 November 2015, faces a much stiffer sentence.

This is despite him having no previous convictions. It seems that Kelley hacked not just TalkTalk, but other organisations as well.

Kelley admitted this week to hacking TalkTalk’s systems in order to obtain customer data. He also plead guilty to further charges including blackmail and money laundering, after he demanded a payment of 465 bitcoins (£286,295)  from TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding.

Judge Paul Worsley reportedly warned Kelley that jail time was “inevitable” and that he should “prepare” himself.

Kelley is currently out on bail until his sentencing hearing, scheduled for 6 March 2017.

TalkTalk’s security credentials took a massive hit after the details of the data breach were revealed. Indeed, the ISP was fined a record £400,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for its failures that allowed the breach to take place.

The ICO found that TalkTalk could have avoided the cyber attack if it took a few basic security steps to protect the information it held on its customers.

The technical weaknesses in TalkTalk’s security meant that between 15 and 21 October 2015, hackers were able exploit holes in the system and swipe data, such as the names, addresses, date of birth and phone numbers of 156,959 customers.

The attackers also managed to gain access to the bank account details and sort codes of 15,656 customers, making the data leak that bit more severe.

Teenager Hackers

The TalkTalk hack is notable mainly down to the young age of all the attackers.

A total of six people, all aged under 21, were arrested as part of the police investigation into the matter.

In November 2015 for example a 20-year-old man was arrested at an address in south Staffordshire. In Northern Ireland police also arrested a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy from Feltham, west London, was also arrested in connection with the attack.

The arrested youngster from County Antrim later took legal action against The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The Sun, as well as Google and Twitter, for alleged breach of privacy.

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