Teenager admits to TalkTalk cyberattack offenses

A teenager has admitted to contributing towards last year’s TalkTalk cyberattack, explaining he helped compromise the company’s website to “show off” to his friends.

The 17-year-old pleaded guilty to seven offenses at Norwich Youth Court in the UK. He said that at the time he “didn’t think of the consequences” of his actions.

Close to 160,000 of TalkTalk’s customers were affected by the incident, with over 15,000 having their personal bank details compromised.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court:  “It was a passion – not anymore. I won’t let it happen again. I have grown up.”

The youngster, who was arrested not long after the cyberattack in 2015, will be charged with breaching the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

This act is designed to “make provision for securing computer material against unauthorized access or modification; and for connected purposes”.

One of the things that this particular case highlights is how young cybercrime suspects can be.

Earlier this year, for example, the UK’s National Crime Agency released statistics that revealed the average age of such suspects is 17. In 2015, it was 24.

Surprisingly, although TalkTalk received a record fine last month for cybersecurity failings, it has seemingly bounced back from the incident.

Its interim results for the six months to September 30th saw its pre-tax profits triple, which its CEO, Dido Harding, has welcomed.

She said: “We have delivered an excellent uplift in first half profits and expect to deliver materially higher full year profits than last year.

“One year on from the cyberattack, we have maintained a relentless focus on looking after our existing customers and keeping up the pace across a wide range of operational improvements to make TalkTalk simpler and better for customers.”

Commenting on the data breach in October 2016, Harding described cybercrime “as the crime of our generation”.

This article was updated on December 14th.

Author , We Live Security

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