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TalkTalk facing huge compensation bill, customers hit by cyber-attack could get £1,000

TalkTalk could be in serious financial hot water over last week’s cyber-attack scandal, with the company apparently facing potential compensation pay-outs which are steep enough to put it out of business, some reports are claiming.

You can’t possibly have missed the news last week that TalkTalk was subjected to a sustained attack over a period of time which saw the private data of over four million customers compromised.

Lawyers are already getting compensation claims ready for filing, and according to a report in the Daily Star, customers could be in line for as much as £1,000, and the total bill for damages could be to the tune of £75 million. And that’s before authorities such as the ICO have weighed in on this matter, of course.

Last week, TalkTalk was also contacted by an individual or group purporting to be responsible for the hack demanding a ransom. Naturally, the police will be looking into that one.

Chief executive Dido Harding issued an apology last week, and was surprisingly frank in a BBC television interview where she admitted that she wasn’t even certain regarding encryption of the data which was stolen.

However, in an update (opens in new tab) on the incident made yesterday, TalkTalk has now said the attack was made against the firm’s website and not its core systems, and that full credit card numbers weren’t stored on the website – any numbers stolen had some parts hidden, such as ‘0123 45xx xxxx 6789’, and therefore theoretically aren’t usable.

TalkTalk added: “We now expect the amount of financial information that may have been accessed to be materially lower than initially believed and would on its own not enable a criminal to take money from your account.”

The company is advising customers to keep an eye on their bank account though, and is also offering a years’ worth of free credit monitoring alerts.

Darren Allan
Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.