Teenager admits to seven hacking offences in TalkTalk data breach

The October 2015 data breach led to Talk Talk being fined £400,000 for its security failings 

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The Independent Online

A teenager has admitted to seven hacking offences relating to the TalkTalk security breach that led to the personal data of nearly 160,000 people being accessed.

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was appeared in Norwich Youth Court on Tuesday. He pleaded guilty to seven charges under the Computer Misuse Act.

Sentencing has been adjourned to 13 December.

The teenager was arrested on 3 November last year following the data breach and charged following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s Cyber Crime Unit.

TalkTalk was fined a record £400,000 for the 21 October hack. Around 157,000 people’s personal data was stolen in the hack, including details such as bank account numbers and addresses, while the company was later forced to admit it had not encrypted some customers’ personal details.  

An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office found that TalkTalk’s “failure to implement the most basic cyber security measures allowed hackers to penetrate [the company’s] systems with ease”. It added that in 15,656 cases, people’s bank account details and sort codes had been accessed.

TalkTalk customers hacked

In July, the firm said the fallout from the cyber attack had cost it £42 million.

Additional reporting by Press Association