Two sentenced for £77 million TalkTalk hack

Two men have been sentenced for their role in the massive TalkTalk cyber-attack that took place in 2015. The attack affected over 160,000 TalkTalk customers, seeing the attackers get away with the personal details of thousands upon thousands of customers.

Two sentenced for £77 million TalkTalk hack

The pair involved in the cybercrime are both in their early 20s and had previously pleaded guilty to their crime in April of last year. The Staffordshire-based Matthew Hanley had shared the details of more than 8,000 customers with his accomplice Connor Allsopp. Hanley faces a 12-month imprisonment for his crime, with Allsopp receiving eight for his role in the crime, according to the BBC.

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Despite being branded “individuals of extraordinary talent” by Judge Anaju Dhir QC, who delivered the sentences, she added: “I’m sure that your actions caused misery and distress to the many thousands of the customers at TalkTalk.”

During the seven-day hack in October 2015, Hanley and Allsopp stole the personal details of 156,959 customers including sensitive data such as bank account numbers, sort codes, and contact information.

TalkTalk noticed irregularities on 21 October and launched an investigation before warning customers the following day.

The court also heard the cost of the breach was now estimated to be £77 million, according to TalkTalk’s chief financial officer (CFO), which is a considerable step up from the company’s previous £60 million estimate.

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The telecoms firm also faced two fines by the Information Commissioner Officer’s (ICO) as a result of the breach including a then-record £400,000 fine in October 2016, and a further £100,000 penalty the following August.

Last April, Hanley pled guilty to three offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990, including hacking the TalkTalk site, obtaining files that would enable further hacking, and supplying files to others that would precede hacking websites.

Allsopp, meanwhile, pled guilty to assisting fraud and sharing a file that could help others hack.

But they are only thought to be two of up to 12 attackers, according to analysis by BAE Systems, who gave evidence to the court.

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