According to my source, the intrusion started with an attack technique known as SQL injection (SQLi), a method which abuses a misconfiguration in a database that causes the database to cough up or dump information. The source said the SQLi attack was punctuated by a denial-of-service attack that sought to prevent legitimate users from visiting the targeted site, and that the debilitating assault may have been launched to distract from the database hack.
In my case, I signed up with TalkTalk, provided all relevant signup info (personal data) but cancelled prior to service being provided. Yet, TalkTalk did not delete my personal data as required. No regulatory need for the data to be kept as no service ever provided.
BrianThe TalkTalk CE, Dido Harding, was asked in several interviews she gave on Friday that she did not know if any of the data was unencrypted.Firstly, that is such a fundamental question, and scary to her customers. I am amazed she did not have an answer to it. She had several hours between the interviews to find the answer.Secondly, are there any circumstances when personal data would be held in plain text?Brian
Gunton was one of a number of people from around the UK arrested in the wake of the October 2015 TalkTalk hack, which compromised the personal data of 150,000 broadband and telecoms customers of the firm. Gunton was 16 at the time.
In 2018, his computing equipment was seized during checks by police to ensure his compliance with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order. They found that he had offered to supply fraudsters with compromised personal data in exchange for payment in Bitcoin, and incriminated himself through statements made on Twitter.
The TalkTalk cyberattack has attracted a lot of media attention since it was first reported that a serious incident had taken place. We cut through the noise and offer a concise summary of what has transpired.
The extremely recent and still active TalkTalk cyberattack story has generated so much media interest, commentary and analysis that we can safely say that this is big, big news, the kind of topical story that intrigues and affects everyone.
It reveals that customer data is likely to have been compromised, affecting most if not all of its four million customers. Information that may have been accessed includes names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers and credit card and bank details.
In a busy day of activity, the story takes on a political dynamic, with Ed Vaizey, minister of state for culture and the digital economy, telling the House of Commons that MPs have launched an inquiry into the TalkTalk cyberattack.
You can be sure that Talk Talk will have engaged a full army of experts to help isolate the attack, work out what went wrong, what records have been compromised, setting up call centres, and managing its reputation. SMEs will need to go through a similar process to successfully manage any information breach.
Matthew Webb is our Cyber Line Underwriter at Hiscox. Inspired by his father, who had built up his own independent insurance brokerage in their home town Tunbridge Wells, Matthew also took the leap into the world of insurance and has focused on products for commercial enterprises ever since. He is now a highly regarded UK resource on risks associated with cyber crime and data security.
Chief executive Dido Harding said she couldn't even confirm if the data had been encrypted and said it was likely that personal and banking details of all its four million customers had been compromised.
Harding also confirmed she had received a ransom demand "looking for money" from a group claiming responsibility for the attack. "If you're a cyber-criminal the days of stealing data and then selling it for cash in the dark web - they're not so profitable as they used to be," she told the BBC.
In a post on Pastebin that appears to contain compromised data from the attack, the group wrote that it "cannot be stopped". "We Have Made Our Tracks Untraceable Through Onion Routing, Encrypted Chat Messages, Private Key Emails, Hacked Servers. We Will Teach our Children To Use The Web For Allah.. Your Hands Will Be Covered In Blood.. Judgement Day Is Soon."
The attack comes several months after two similar attacks targeted TalkTalk customers. The first, in February, saw some customers tricked into handing over account details by phone scammers. And in August the company's mobile sales site was hit by a "coordinated cyber attack" in which personal data was breached.
TalkTalk was recently hit with the biggest data breach fine in UK history following a clumsy, yet easy to prevent security gaffe in October 2015. The budget telco was ordered to pay a massive £400,000, after nearly 157,000 customer accounts were compromised, of which 15,000 contained sensitive financial details. One year on, following a security conference and a high-profile campaign in a tabloid newspaper, it's trying to repair the damage to its reputation with the promise of better protecting its systems against hack attacks, but there's an increasing suspicion that the UK's ISPs remain flat-footed.
The attack vector was via three vulnerable Web pages it had inherited from a takeover of Tiscali in 2009. Having failed to make a proper inventory of its acquisition, it had been unaware that these pages even existed, let alone enabled access to a database of customer information. In the end, it was compromised by a tactic as simple as SQL injection. In its ruling, the ICO said "SQL injection is well understood, defences exist, and TalkTalk ought to have known it posed a risk to its data." A criminal investigation into the perpetrators is ongoing, but Denham was at pains to share blame.
Customers and investors want ownership after a security breach, and the CEO is often the one people look to for answers. Equifax did a thorough evaluation of its leaders last year following a breach that compromised the data of 143 million Americans. The chief executive of TalkTalk resigned after a 2015 cyberattack compromised the personal information of more than 150,000 customers and knocked the stock price down by 30 percent. As we all know, the CEO sets the tone for company priorities so when things fail or go wrong we must take responsibility.
According to the report, 28 percent of all cyberattacks and 38 percent of all targeted attacks involve malicious activity by company insiders -- although not everyone involved in passing corporate credentials and other inside information to hackers are willing participants in the criminal schemes.
Hackers will then blackmail the person, forcing them to hand over information which will compromise their employer or distribute spear phishing emails on their behalf, in order for the potentially embarrassing personal data not to come to light.
However, Kaspersky warns that not all insider attacks are carried out by reluctant participants: some are done with the help of willing insiders who are more than happy to put their telecoms employer -- and therefore their customers -- at risk from cybercriminals.
For the cybercriminals, recruiting an insider makes hacking a company a much simpler task, providing them with easy access to internal networks and data. The report notes how insiders at phone companies are mostly recruited to provide access to data, while staff at internet service providers are more often used to help carry out man-in-the-middle attacks.
The electronic toymaker has reported that its app store database, Learning Lodge was compromised earlier this month. The VTech App Store is an online store that lets children download games, e-books and other digital content to VTech devices. Whilst the database didn't include any credit card details or banking information, the leak of personal details of children's names, email addresses, date of birth and parents addresses has caused this to be the largest data breach concerning children.
The hacking of VTech is just another in a series of recent cyber attacks that has put pressure on companies and organisations to improve their online security and database encryption to avoid being the next target. TalkTalk's recent attack cost the company dearly with over 160,000 personal details of customers leaked and their overall reputation affected. Though most notably was the hacking of controversial adultery website, Ashley Madison which resulted in almost 37 million accounts compromised and released to the public.
Will we see an increase in cyber security and threat engineers roles advertised in 2016? If this year has taught us anything, it's that the protection of customer details and personal information needs to be the highest priority for tech companies and organisations.
While TalkTalk initially warned that 4 million customers may have been affected, in a Nov. 6 "cyber attack update" it now reports that it believes that 157,000 individuals' personal information was accessed by attackers, including 16,000 bank and sort codes and 28,000 tokenized credit card numbers. 2b1af7f3a8