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15 September 2021 Kurt Haller

Hacked a £4.8 billion-pound Company to Impress Friends?

In 2016, a 17-year-old boy admitted that he had a desire to show off his IT skills to his friends. This led him to use hacking software (SQL Map) to scan websites for vulnerabilities, during which he identified a vulnerability in the TalkTalk website and posted the details online.

This led to other people taking advantage of the vulnerability (which allowed for SQL injection to access data that should not have been made publicly available) to steal 150,000 customer details, including full bank account numbers and sort codes for 15,656 people.

After the breach, TalkTalk acknowledged that the hack cost them £60 million and led to the loss of 95,000 customers. In October 2016, the UK Information Commissioner's Office issued TalkTalk with a £400,000 fine, which was the largest to date, stating that TalkTalk failed to "implement the most basic cyber security measures."

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