Telecoms giant, TalkTalk, is likely to be required to dish out compensation worth millions of pounds after customer details were stolen in a high-profile hack. The total cost to the company in lost revenue and compensation is now estimated to exceed £75 million,
The data hack has effected more than four million customers, with personal information such as bank details, address and NI numbers likely to have been extracted.
Mr Culley, a former Metropolitan Police detective and a security consultant, told the Sunday Telegraph: “This is one of the biggest crimes I have ever known. It is the Great Train Robbery of the 21st century. There is a potentially huge liability for TalkTalk as a result of this.”
TalkTalk’s chief executive, Dido Harding, has since insisted that the attack is not as severe as originally thought, claiming that any stolen information was not enough for criminals to access customer accounts. The attack is currently linked to a Russian-based Islamist group, however the motivation behind it is not entirely clear if economic theft was the intention.
TalkTalk is working alongside BAE Systems to establish the extent of the breach; currently they are looking for clues within one billion points of data.
The attack has seen widespread customer outrage and plummeting stock prices. Many individuals using TalkTalk as their service provider were dismayed that they found out about the hack via news channels rather than being contacted by the company. Mrs Harding admitted that the future of the company relied on a restoration of trust with customers, stating that “our future depends on what we do over the next few weeks.”.
“If we look after our customers through this really difficult time when we have all been victims of a crime together then I hope they will forgive us.
“If we don’t look after them properly, they won’t, so it is within our gift to do that.”
Further tarnishing of the company’s reputation come amidst reports suggesting that customers wishing to opt out of TalkTalk’s service in light of security fears are still being charged an ‘early leavers fee’ of up to £360 for trying to cancel their contracts.
The company responded by stating they have a legal obligation to continue honouring contracts until the police investigation and an internal enquiry have been completed.