Breaking News: How Can You Protect Yourself Against the TalkTalk Hack?

23
Oct
Steve Ross

Written by Steve Ross, 23 October 2015

Earlier today, it was revealed that national consumer broadband provider TalkTalk had suffered a “significant” cyber-attack. Shackleton’s Senior Technical Manager, Chris Thornton, investigates…

As you have no doubt read TalkTalk, has been the victim of what police are now calling a “significant and sustained cyber-attack”, with it’s customer database of over four million customers being hacked. The latest in a string of high-profile hackings of consumer companies, there is a risk that TalkTalk customers personal data may have been compromised.

Data Breach

 It is suspected that the following data has been accessed:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Dates of Birth
  • Email Addresses
  • Telephone Numbers
  • TalkTalk Account Information
  • Credit Card Details and/or Bank Accounts

TalkTalk is investigating the breach in an attempt to ascertain what information may have been accessed and while a criminal investigation is ongoing, police have not yet arrested any suspects.  It has been stressed that the information that may have been stolen does not allow money to be taken directly from a bank account, but it does increase the risk of identity fraud. 

Protect Your Details

As a TalkTalk account holder we are doing the following and recommend you do the same:

  • Regularly check the bank account or credit card you use for your TalkTalk account for unusual activity.
    • These details are often sold on so it may be weeks or months before these details are used.
  • If you notice any unusual activity double check with any other card holders and if fraudulent report it.
    • Report it to your bank in the first instance.
    • Also report it to the UK National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre (www.actionfraud.police.uk).
  • For individual TalkTalk customers who may have been affected, it is also recommended that you check your credit rating regularly.
    • Call Credit, Experian and Equifax are the main credit agencies that require a subscription but Noddle offer a free service.

You may be contacted by TalkTalk regarding this issue, if you are please be aware of the following advice:

  • TalkTalk or any other service provider should never ask you for your bank details – don’t give them out!
  • You will not be asked to download software onto your computer  - this will only happen if you have authorised it and they call you back.
  • You should never be asked for your full password, only certain characters of it.

If you are contacted and are in any doubt please be careful, and remember, never give out any information that may put you at risk.

Update 23/10/2015 15:34: Boss of TalkTalk recieves "ransom" email. Chief executive Dido Harding said she did not know whether the ransom email was genuine. Read more here.


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