Categories: CyberCrimeSecurity

Teenager Pleads Guilty To TalkTalk Hack Offences

A 17 year old hacker has admitted offences related to the massive data breach at TalkTalk last year.

According to the BBC, the boy told Norwich Youth Court he was just “showing off” and used tool software to identify vulnerabilities on the TalkTalk website.

He pleaded guilty to seven charges under the computer Misuse Act and will be sentenced on 13 December.

TalkTalk hack

TalkTalk 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 holds on its customers.

The technical weaknesses in TalkTalk’s security meant that between 15 and 21 October 2015, a hacker was 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 attacker 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.

The attack on TalkTalk happened when data was accesses through the hacking of three vulnerable webpages the company inherited from Tiscali’s UK business in 2009. TalkTalk’s failure to scan this infrastructure to find security vulnerabilities was what caused the fine.

TalkTalk was apparently not aware of the fact the underlying database to the webpages was outdated and lacked support from its vendor. As such, TalkTalk was not aware of a bug, which has a fix for it, was lying amongst the infrastructure.

“In spite of its expertise and resources, when it came to the basic principles of cyber-security, TalkTalk was found wanting,” Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said earlier this month.

The episode led to MPs to recommend greater powers for the ICO. However the reputational damage and losses directly caused by the company were arguably greater. It is understood the incident cost TalkTalk £60 million and led to 101,000 customers to leave. It has since recovered.

Quiz: What do you know about fibre broadband?

Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

Recent Posts

Canon Suffers Ransomware Attack, With 10TB Of Data Stolen – Report

Report suggests Canon has been crippled with a ransomware attack with allegedly 10TB of data,…

19 hours ago

Uber Expands UK Reach With Autocab Buy

Amid consolidation in the taxi sector caused by Coronavirus lockdown, Uber purchases British rival Autocab…

19 hours ago

TikTok Selects Ireland For First European Data Centre

Ireland to get another data centre after the Chinese-owned short video app TikTok announces first…

20 hours ago

Google Plus Users To Receive Financial Settlement

American users of the defunct Google Plus can claim $12 as part of a lawsuit…

22 hours ago

Twitter, Facebook Delete Trump Posts About Children And Coronavirus

Social networking giants temporarily restrict the Facebook and Twitter accounts of President Trump over harmful…

1 day ago