Personal details – including credit card and bank details – belonging to TalkTalk customers could have been accessed as part of what has been described as a “significant and sustained” cyberattack.
Customers are being urged to take precautions as a criminal investigation has been launched by the Metopolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit.
The communications company has apologised to customers.
The attack happened yesterday (Wednesday) but TalkTalk has today confirmed the investigation.
It is feared that names, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses, phone numbers, TalkTalk account information and credit card and bank details may have been accessed.
Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk’s consumer managing director said: “We are continuing to work with leading cyber crime specialists and the Metropolitan Police to establish exactly what happened and the extent of any information accessed.
“We would like to reassure you that we take any threat to the security of our customers’ data very seriously.
“We constantly review and update our systems to make sure they are as secure as possible and we’re taking all the necessary steps to understand this incident and to protect as best we can against similar attacks in future.
“Unfortunately cyber criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and attacks against companies which do business online are becoming more frequent.”
TalkTalk says it is contacting all customers straight away to let them know what has happened and will keep them up to date as they learn more.
It says all necessary measures have been taken to secure its website following the attack.
It adds: “Together with cybercrime experts, the security services and the police, we’re continuing to complete a thorough investigation.
“We’ve contacted the major banks, and they will be monitoring for any suspicious activity on our customers’ accounts.
“We have contacted the Information Commissioner’s Office.”
Customers are urged to keep an eye on their accounts over the next few months.
If you see anything unusual, contact your bank and Action Fraud as soon as possible. Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre, and can be reached on 0300 123 2040 or via www.actionfraud.police.uk
TalkTalk advises: “If you are contacted by anyone asking you for personal data or passwords – such as for your bank account) – please take all steps to check the true identity of the organisation.
“Check your credit report with the three main credit agencies: Call Credit, Experian and Equifax.”
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