Ballymena teen released on bail over TalkTalk cyber attack


A teenager widely understood to be from the Ballymena area arrested in connection with the TalkTalk cyber attack, has been released on bail pending further inquiries.

The investigation, which is being conducted by the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit, Police Service of Northern Ireland and National Crime Agency is continuing.

The teenager was detained yesterday on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences, the Metropolitan Police said.

He was taken into custody at a Co Antrim police station.

Yesterday a Scotland Yard spokesman said: “An arrest has been made in connection with the investigation into alleged data theft from the TalkTalk website.

“At approximately 4.20pm, officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), working with detectives from the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit, executed a search warrant at an address in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland.”

The spokesman added: “At the address, a 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences. He has been taken into custody at a Co Antrim police station where he will later be interviewed. A search of the address is ongoing and inquiries continue.”

The investigation is being carried out by the Met’s cyber crime unit, the PSNI’s cyber crime centre and the National Crime Agency.

A TalkTalk spokesman said: “TalkTalk can confirm that we have been informed by the Metropolitan Police of the arrest of a suspect in connection with the cyber attack on our website on October 21.

“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 in the ongoing investigation.”

TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding said earlier she still was unsure how many of its four million UK customers had been affected by the attack, which had affected the telecoms giant’s website rather than its “core systems”.

Jesse Norman, chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, is leading an inquiry into the alleged data breach.

Officers are investigating a ransom demand sent to the the phone and broadband provider by someone claiming to be responsible and seeking payment. The firm said it was not sure if the message was genuine.

The latest breach is the third in a spate of cyber attacks affecting TalkTalk in the last eight months, with incidents in August and February resulting in customers’ data being stolen.

TalkTalk saw more than a 10th of its value wiped off in trading today as shares plummeted more than 12 per cent, adding to the 4.3 per cent drop suffered on Friday.