The boy behind the Talk Talk data hack given rehabilitation order and has devices seized


A 17-year-old who admitted hacking offences linked to the TalkTalk data breach has been given a 12-month youth rehabilitation order and had his iPhone and computer hard drive confiscated.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, found a vulnerability in the website using "legitimate software" and shared details of this online, an earlier hearing at Norwich Youth Court was told.

While he did not exploit the information for gain, the TalkTalk website was targeted more than 14,000 times after the boy exposed the vulnerability. He told magistrates "I was just showing off to my mates" as he admitted seven hacking offences.

Talk Talk Headquaters (John Stillwell/PA)
(John Stillwell/PA)

Sentencing him on Tuesday over the multimillion-pound data breach in October 2015, chairman of the bench Jean Bonnick said: "Your IT skills will always be there - just use them legally in the future."

Two of the charges related to the TalkTalk hack, and the boy admitted targeting other websites including Manchester University, Cambridge University and that of Merit Badges, a small family company which supplies martial arts badges.

Telecoms giant TalkTalk fell victim to what it described as a "significant and sustained" attack on its website on October 21 2015. The company said the fallout from the incident cost it £42 million.