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TalkTalk hackers demanding ransom

TalkTalk, the British telecom company which was a victim of a cyber-attack this morning, potentially leaving data of more than four million users at risk, was contacted by someone claiming to be the attacker.

The attacker has asked for ransom, TalkTalk has confirmed to The Guardian (opens in new tab).

A TalkTalk spokeswoman said: “We can confirm we were contacted by someone claiming to be responsible and seeking payment.” She didn't want to elaborate further, saying “everything else is matter for the police”.

TalkTalk’s chief executive Dido Harding told the BBC: “Yes, we have been contacted by - I don’t know whether it’s an individual or a group purporting to be the hacker. I personally received a contact from someone purporting - as I say, I don’t know whether they are or are not - to be the hacker, looking for money.”

According to The Guardian’s report, the attack was done by Islamic militants.

A group, which claimed responsibility for the attack, said it has done it in the name of Allah, said a former detective at Scotland Yard’s cybercrime unit, Adrian Culley.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It appears at face value to be Islamic cyberterrorism.”

“By the very nature of who TalkTalk are, they are a communications service provider, they are also part of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, so this is a concern not just for the police but the security services,” he added.

The claim could not be verified.

This morning, TalkTalk confirmed it was hit by a “significant and sustained” cyber-attack, which might have resulted in the theft of private data.

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.