Experts find TalkTalk network still lacking on security

According to security researcher Codified Security, TalkTalk the mobile operator which was the subject of a major attack in October, still has glaring security vulnerabilities.

TalkTalk’s mobile network was compromised in October by a severe and sustained cyber attack with the loss of thousands of customers' personal details and bank account numbers. At the time, it was believed to be one of the biggest security compromises in the UK as it was feared all of TalkTalk’s 4 million customers may have been affected.

However, in early November TalkTalk was able to downscale the affects of the attack to 157,000 customers, which had been directly affected but no valid credit card details had in fact been stolen.

Codified Security is now claiming that TalkTalk’s mobile network is still showing obvious security holes that any competent security professional or hacker could identify within minutes. They state that both the TalkTalk website and its email have well known security vulnerabilities.

The cost to Talk Talk’s business has been severe with tem losing a fifth of its value and potentially one of costs of 35 million directly as a result of the October hacsk. However, it appears TalkTalk has not learned its lesson and is still not taking the risks of further security attacks seriously. Codified’s chief technology officer Martin Alderson said: “I would be surprised if any start-up, let alone a FTSE 250 company, would do this. If you were a security professional you’d find [these flaws] in a few seconds.”

TalkTalk responded, saying: “We cannot go into detail on specific aspects of our website and email platforms for obvious security reasons. However the security of our systems is a top priority and we constantly run vulnerability checks using tools developed by industry-leading experts.”

Dave Palmer, Director of Technology from Darktrace commented: "Experts have revealed that TalkTalk’s network is still lacking basic security, and could allow hackers to steal email address, password and financial data due to basic oversights. This again, proves that bread-and-butter defences that protect the perimeter are not sufficient when faced with a situation where threats of all types are often already on the inside.

"Security must be kept in check by continual monitoring and advanced detection. Ability to detect early indicators of compromise is crucial in avoiding debilitating breaches and managing situations that could turn into a crisis. This threat detection capability is possible today, with new ‘immune system’ technologies that enable companies to deal with the sophisticated attackers and unknown threats.

"Next year, companies can expect their clients to increasingly demand this type of continuous visibility and immune system-style defence, to assure them that their data and assets are being protected."