Northern Ireland teen arrested over hacking of British ISP TalkTalk

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Police in Northern Ireland have arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with last week’s cyber attack on British broadband provider TalkTalk, which may have affected millions of customers, police say.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), which is also known as Scotland Yard, said in a statement that the teenager was arrested at about 6:20 p.m. local time on Monday after a search warrant was executed at a residence in County Antrim in Northern Ireland.

The teen, whose name has not been released, was arrested on suspicion of violations of the Computer Misuse Act. He was taken to a County Antrim police station where he will be interviewed at a later time.

“A search of the address is ongoing and inquiries continue,” Scotland Yard said.

TalkTalk, which has some four million broadband subscribers, welcomed Monday’s arrest. “We know this has been a worrying time for customers and we are grateful for the swift response and hard work of the police. We will continue to assist with the ongoing investigation,” the company said.

The cyber attack happened last Wednesday when a hacker gained access to the company’s website. It was initially believed that the credit and debit card numbers of customers could have been accessed, but the company now says that information was protected.

Other information, such as bank account numbers and sort codes, may have been accessed during the breach, in addition to names, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses, telephone numbers, and TalkTalk account information. The exact number of affected customers is not yet clear.

TalkTalk said it had received a ransom demand after last week’s cyber attack.

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