DCMS TalkTalk hack inquiry will address ‘serious issues’

DCMS TalkTalk hack inquiry will address ‘serious issues’

An inquiry into the recent TalkTalk cyber-attack has been launched by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The DCMS explained that TalkTalk’s third attack this year has identified ‘serious issues’, raising concerns over the nature of the cyber-attack and as well as the response to cyber-crime across the industry.

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Telecom security measures

The DCMS’ inquiry will look to address the wider implications the TalkTalk attack will have on the telecoms market. It will be obtaining views on TalkTalk’s response to the incident, the robustness of security measures adopted by telecom companies and the importance of encryption in protecting personal data.

The inquiry comes as Vodafone became the latest mobile brand to have suffered a data breach after nearly 2,000 customers data were illegally accessed on Wednesday 28 October. Carphone Warehouse also fell victim to a cyber-attack in August, with 2.5m customers targeted.

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Chair of the Committee, Jesse Norman MP, said: ‘The recent events have highlighted serious issues relating both to existing cyber-security and the response to cyber-crime. This Committee is concerned with the attacks on TalkTalk specifically as a telecoms and internet service provider, but with the recent move of the Information Commissioner’s Office to DCMS, we will also be looking more widely at the security of personal information online.’

TalkTalk ransom demand

The governmental body’s scrutiny comes as TalkTalk fell into the spotlight after a ‘sophisticated and sustained’ cyber-attack targeted millions of customers. CEO Dido Harding took to a number of media outlets to warn customers, stating she had also received a ransom demand understood to be form the hackers.

Mobile security inconsistency

Respondents to Mobile’s recent Security Insight Report said that there is a lack of consistency when it comes to security and the problems attached to it. Retail store staff said they were unsure of the approach various players take when it comes to security: ‘The problem is I’ve not seen any official statement from the network providers or manufacturers.' Access the full findings here.

The DCMS is expected to hear evidence for the inquiry later this month, with Monday 23 November 2015 the deadline for receiving submissions.

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