Talk Talk CEO responds to cyber attack

TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding is interviewed after her mobile phone and Internet company revealed it was breached by Internet hackers. A TalkTalk customer, Rachel Acton, of Boston, England, says she is worried that her identity may have been stolen.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (OCTOBER 23) (ITN) – British broadband provider TalkTalk said on Friday (October 23) it had received a ransom demand from an unidentified party claiming responsibility for a cyber attack that could have led to the theft of personal data from its more than 4 million customers.

The data could include credit card and bank details, and if the theft is confirmed by a police investigation it would be one of Britain’s biggest online security breaches. The company says the breach occurred on Wednesday. (October 21)

“I don’t know, today, whether or not all four million customers’ personal information has been stolen,” TalkTalk’s Chief Executive Officer, Dido Harding, said on Friday, “I’ve taken the decision to tell everyone it might have been as fast as I possibly could.”

Jens Monrad, a Copenhagen-based security expert for U.S. cyber defence firm FireEye, also told Reuters that samples of financial data which appeared to come from TalkTalk customers had been spotted for sale in cybercriminal forums on the so-called dark web. TalkTalk has said there was a chance names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, TalkTalk account information, credit card details and/or bank details had been accessed.

A TalkTalk spokeswoman declined to comment, citing the ongoing police investigation.

The attack follows dozens of high-profile cases targeting retailers and banks in North America. It is the third breach to hit TalkTalk this year.