24 Oct 2015

TalkTalk says most financial details not been compromised

Talktalk, who revealed the personal details of up to four million customers may have been exposed to a cyber attack, now claim that the scale of the hack may not be as bad as first feared.

TalkTalk say a cyber-attack revealed on Friday affected their website and not their “core systems.”

The communications company is looking into claims by customers that their bank accounts have been targeted by fraudsters – but say there is no evidence to suggest they’re linked to this week’s data breach.

In a statement on Saturday the company said bank details revealed were partially obscured: “We now expect the amount of financial information that may have been accessed to be materially lower than initially believed and would on its own not enable a criminal to take money from your account .”

Business warning

Cyber-attacks on businesses are an “everyday” problem and the TalkTalk attack has made the headlines only because of its “sheer scale” according to the Institute of Directors.

Speaking to Channel 4 News on Saturday, Senior Corporate Governance Adviser Oliver Parry warned that boards of businesses need to understand the risks.

He warned that as the nature of cyber-crime is every-changing, “prevention will take a lot of effort, time and understanding.”

Mr Parry said the TalkTalk hack had been handled relatively well by the business, but they needed to reassure customers that it would not happen again – this was the third time this year the company has been successfully targetted by hackers.

Scale and duration of attack ‘alarming’

TalkTalk has denied claims that it has “covered up” the attack, saying “we went public within 36 hours.”

Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said these claims should be investigated.

He told the Telegraph: “Suggestions that TalkTalk has covered up both the scale and duration of this attack are alarming and unacceptable and must be thoroughly investigated When such sensitive data as bank details have been compromised, companies have a duty to warn customers immediately.”

TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding told Channel 4 News on Friday that the company was being accused of revealing the attack too early and too late.

Baroness Harding said: “We made the decision yesterday to take what was is a very big brand risk in this communication [but] my judgement was that it was better to warn all my customers early.”

Watch the full interview with Baroness Dido Harding below