Two men involved in the £77 million hacking of TalkTalk in October 2015 have been jailed.
Matthew Hanley, 23, and 21-year-old Connor Allsopp both admitted their roles in the data breach which affected 1.6 million accounts.
Hanley was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment and Allsop was jailed for eight.
“Hanley hacked into TalkTalk’s database with the sole intention to steal customer personal data and sell it to criminals and fraudsters for his and Allsopp’s financial gain,” said Detective Constable Rob Burrows from the Met’s Falcon Cyber Crime Unit.
“Allsopp was a willing participant in the crime. If successful this could have put thousands of people at risk of fraud.”
Hanley was arrested on 30 October 2015 and his computers and devices were seized from his home but police established they had been wiped and encrypted.
An investigation into Hanley’s communications uncovered evidence concerning his involvement in the hack and actions he took to destroy and conceal evidence. Police found that Hanley instructed Allsop to sell the TalkTalk data on his behalf.
Allsopp, who was arrested in April 2016, admitted attempting to sell the stolen customer data as well as details of TalkTalk vulnerabilities that would have enabled others to hack into the company’s database.
Burrows added: “Hanley thought he was clever covering his tracks, concealing and destroying evidence on his computers, however the extensive investigation, specialist skills and technical expertise utilised by our team led to the identification of these two virtual offenders bringing them into the ‘real world’. This secured overwhelming digital evidence leading to the guilty pleas and sentencing today.
“Our investigation proves regardless of the efforts and techniques deployed by cyber criminals to conceal their identities and activities, they will leave a trace and will be identified, pursued and prosecuted.”
Judge Anuja Dhir QC described Hanley and Allsop as “individuals of extraordinary talent”, adding: “I’m sure that your actions caused misery and distress to the many thousands of the customers at TalkTalk.”