TalkTalk CEO: ‘cyber attacks are the crimes of our generation’

Cyber thefts of people’s data by hackers are the “crimes of our generation”, according to TalkTalk’s chief executive Dido Harding who is trying to reassure her customers their personal information is safe following a cyber attack.

Harding has been talking to the media this morning (23 October) to apologise for the “frustration and concern” the attack is causing to customers. Personal information including credit card details and bank details could be at risk, the company has confessed, although services like the TalkTalk My Account have been taken down to ensure that all that information is secure.

It’s the second time in the past 12 months that TalkTalk’s 4 million customers in the UK have been affected by data breaches. And Harding believes that attacks like these are becoming widespread and more common. Speaking to the BBC earlier she said “these are unfortunately the crimes of the times”.

“[These] are the crimes of our generation. I would love to say that its just TalkTalk but it’s not the case. It’s [affecting] every company, whether your Apple, Sony or the US government just to name but a few from the last few weeks we all have to take this more seriously.

“Every company but also every individual has to stay savvy and make sure that you’re not revealing personal information unless you’re sure that it’s a reputable company that you’re talking to.”

Downed services like its sales site will come back online once the company is confident it has plugged the breach and secure customers’ data. TalkTalk claims that it has now re-secured its website and is currently open for business.

The full scale of the assault is not yet clear but it is already feared that credit card and bank details, names, addresses, birthdays, telephone numbers and other account information for all 4 million of its customers may have been swiped.

In a statement TalkTalk managing director Tristia Harrison said: "We are very sorry to tell you that on Thursday 22nd October a criminal investigation was launched by the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit following a significant and sustained cyberattack on our website.

“We understand this will be concerning and frustrating, and we want to reassure you that we are continuing to take every action possible to keep your information safe."

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