British broadband provider TalkTalk has revealed that it has received a ransom demand from an individual or a group purporting to be hacker(s) responsible for the staggering breach that may have compromised the personal and financial details of 4 million customers.
TalkTalk’s chief executive officer Dido Harding has told the BBC that the company was contacted with a ransom demand via email.
The breach is now a police investigation, and if the comprehensive data theft is confirmed during the investigation, the cyber attack could very well be one of Britain’s biggest ever online security breaches.
Speaking to the BBC, Harding said:
“It is hard for me to give you very much detail, but yes, we have been contacted by, I don’t know whether it is an individual or a group, purporting to be the hacker.”
The Breached Data May Not Even Be Encrypted
Harding also added that former customers of TalkTalk may also be impacted by the hack as it is yet unknown if the information gained by the hackers were even encrypted to begin with.
“All I can say is that I had personally received a contact from someone purporting – as I say I don’t know whether they are or are not – to be the hacker looking for money.”
Harding added that a “material number” of the company’s customers have been affected and that the warning being given out is a precaution to look into credit card and bank account details.
Related article: UK Telecom Provider TalkTalk Breach May Affect 4 Million Customers
Furthermore, several market analysts and experts believe that TalkTalk’s reputation has taken a beating after this incident being the third security breach successfully targeting the company in the past year alone.
TalkTalk shares had previous fallen 7 percent when its website went down on Wednesday and come Friday, with the website still being down, stocks plummeted by 8.5 percent to figure at a two year low.
TalkTalk is now referring to the breach as the “oct22incident” on its domain name and is currently posting updates of the breach and the fallout from it here.
The attack follows a raft of other breaches that has affected the UK and several retailers, government institutions and dating websites in North America in the past year alone.