A second teenager has been arrested over the cyber attack on TalkTalk that allegedly saw the details of millions of its customers stolen. But has Friday night come early for chief executive Dido Harding, as the police close in on the perpetrators and the prospect of bringing this sorry affair to a close? Or is it yet more embarrassment at the probability that a network of spotty adolescents penetrated one of Britain’s biggest communications companies?
As with many things, it’s a bit of both.
The 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences in Feltham in west London. Like the 15-year-old from County Antrim in Northern Ireland arrested on Monday, he was bailed. A third address in Liverpool was also searched, the Metropolitan Police said.
TalkTalk said earlier this week that the data that was taken wasn’t enough by itself to steal money from customers’ bank accounts (although it still hasn’t confirmed exactly what was nicked and how many of its 4 million customers were compromised). But experts have said the attack was probably a relatively unsophisticated type that’s been around for a decade. It’s all the more embarrassing that it may have been carried out by teenagers.
On the other hand, once the perpetrators have been found and punished, one source of awkward headlines will stop. These arrests bring that possibility closer. TalkTalk’s shares have recovered some of their losses since the attack was announced last week and were up a touch (0.2%) around midday today.
The FTSE 250 telco has hired BAE Systems to secure its networks and trawl through its data to determine exactly what was stolen. This is the third successful cyber attack it’s suffered this year (albeit the most serious), but better later than never, eh. Other companies should take heed if they haven’t already -and read MT’s handy guide to securing their systems against a hack.