TalkTalk cyber attack – what you need to know and who to speak to

ByKim Staples
TalkTalk logo

TalkTalk has been the victim of a "significant and sustained" cyber attack on its website. Here's what happened, and here's what you can do.

What happened?

TalkTalk's website faced a serious cyber attack from hackers, who may have compromised customers' data. 

When did the attacks occur?

TalkTalk's website was attacked on Wednesday 21 October. A criminal investigation was launched on Thursday 22 October.

Who hacked the site?

At the time of writing, a suspect in Ireland has been arrested along with another in London in connection with the attacks - though that's all we know for now, as the investigation is still ongoing. We'll keep you updated as more information is released.

I'm a TalkTalk customer. What personal information of mine might have been accessed?

The amount of customer data accessed by the hackers was thankfully a lot lower than TalkTalk originally thought. The data accessed was:

  • Less than 21,000 unique bank account numbers and sort codes
  • Less than 28,000 obscured debit and credit card details (with the middle six digits hidden, e.g. 0123 45xx xxxx 6789)
  • Less than 15,000 dates of birth
  • Less than 1.2 million names, email addresses, and phone numbers

None of the bank account, credit card, and debit card details can be used for financial transactions, so your accounts should be safe - but it's good to stay vigilant all the same.

No account passwords have been accessed, TalkTalk confirmed.

What should I do?

  • Keep an eye on your bank account over the next few months. It doesn't look like the hackers have enough information to take money from your account, but nonetheless if you spot anything unusual, contact both your bank and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
  • Check your credit card report with Call Credit, Experian, and Equifax. TalkTalk is giving its customers a year of free credit checks from Noddle - read more about it on TalkTalk's website.
  • If you're contacted by anyone asking for personal data, take all possible steps to verify the identity of the organisation. Never, ever share any of your passwords or PIN numbers.
  • Look out for communication from TalkTalk. The provider understands the importance of keeping customers in the loop, so you'll be contacted with any new updates as and when they occur. If you need to contact TalkTalk for any reason, use its customer service number: 0203 441 5550.

What is TalkTalk doing following the incident?

TalkTalk has detailed its action plan on its website. It is contacting customers with updates; taking necessary measures to secure the website, with the help of cyber security firm BAE Systems; cooperating with police in a thorough investigation; contacting major banks, which will be monitoring for suspicious activity on accounts; and contacting the Information Commissioner's Office.

I wanted a broadband package from TalkTalk. What should I do?

TalkTalk is taking measures to re-secure the website. Now that any security holes have been discovered, data should be secure once again.

Most of its services are live again, so you can go to its website for information on packages; call on 0800 049 7843 to make an order; or use our postcode checker to see what else is available for you.

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