A teenager involved in the 2015 “car crash” hack attack on TalkTalk has been told a jail sentence is “inevitable” after pleading guilty at the Old Bailey in London.
Despite having no previous convictions Judge Paul Worsley warned 19-year-old Daniel Kelley, from Llanelli, Carmarthenshire that he should “prepare” himself for time behind bars.
Personal data belonging to nearly 157,000 customers was stolen from TalkTalk last October 2015, leading to the arrests of six people, all aged under 21.
Kelley admitted hacking into TalkTalk’s systems to get customer data and also demanding a payment of 465 bitcoins. That amount of the digital currency is currently worth £286,295. He also pleaded guilty to further charges including blackmail and money laundering.
Kelley has been bailed until his sentencing, scheduled for 6 March 2017.
A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a rehabilitation order and had his iPhone taken off him after a separate hearing at Norwich Youth Court. He had admitted seven hacking offences connected to the TalkTalk breach and had pleaded guilty last month.
In response to the prosecutions, a TalkTalk spokesman said: “The Metropolitan Police and the CPS have worked hard to find those responsible for the cyber attack, and we are pleased that their investigations have led to two successful prosecutions.
“We hope that this outcome will encourage other companies to inform their customers and the police quickly when they are attacked.”
In October, the Information Commissioner’s Office whacked TalkTalk with a record £400,000 fine for lax website security. In many ways it had a lucky escape; under the looming EU General Data Protection Regulation is could have faced a £70m fine from Brussels.
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