The Metropolitan Police has arrested an 18-year-old on suspicion of blackmailing TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding following last month’s hack on the firm, which resulted in the personal data of 156,959 customers being accessed.
Following the attack, carried out on October 21, Harding said she had received a ransom demand via email.
Officers from the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit and from the Southern Wales The Regional Organised Crime Unit made the latest arrest in Llanelli, Wales, after searching an address there. The person has been released on bail without charge while police continue their investigation.
It is the fifth arrest in connection with the attack on the company’s website, which also saw the theft of 15,656 bank account numbers and sort codes and 28,000 obscured credit and debit card numbers.
Three teenagers and a 20-year-old have already been seized on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act. The other arrests were made in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and in Feltham, Norwich, and Staffordshire, England.
In its half-year results, released earlier this month, the company said the hack will cost it at least £35m, although this could be just the tip of the iceberg with two law firms planning group actions and a potential exodus of disgruntled customers adding to TalkTalk’s woes.
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