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Thursday, 22 November 2018 10:03

Two get jail terms for hacking British telco TalkTalk

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Two get jail terms for hacking British telco TalkTalk Courtesy London Metropolitan Police

Two Britons have been jailed for their role in breaching the network of the telecommunications company TalkTalk in 2015, according to the London Metropolitan Police.

In a statement on Monday, the Met said the two — Matthew Hanley, 23, and Conner Douglas Allsopp, 21 — had been identified after a long investigation.

The hack, which occurred between 18-22 October 2015, exposed the names, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses, and phone numbers of about 160,000 customers.

The banking credentials of about 16,000 of these customers was also stolen.

Hanley pleaded guilty on 26 April 2017 to hacking the TalkTalk database while Allsopp offered a similar plea. Hanley was jailed for 12 months while Allsopp got four months less.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Rob Burrows from the Met's Falcon Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Hanley hacked into TalkTalk's database with the sole intention to steal customer personal data and sell it to criminals and fraudsters for his and Allsopp’s financial gain.

"Allsopp was a willing participant in the crime. If successful, this could have put thousands of people at risk of fraud.

“Hanley thought he was clever covering his tracks, concealing and destroying evidence on his computers, however the extensive investigation, specialist skills and technical expertise utilised by our team led to the identification of these two virtual offenders bringing them into the ‘real world’.

"This secured overwhelming digital evidence leading to the guilty pleas and sentencing today.

“Our investigation proves regardless of the efforts and techniques deployed by cyber criminals to conceal their identities and activities, they will leave a trace and will be identified, pursued and prosecuted.

“I would like to thank the National Crime Agency for providing support and TalkTalk for their assistance and co-operation towards securing these convictions."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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