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#TalkTalk: 'Customer Bank Accounts are Safe'

TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding has gone on a media offensive over the weekend, allaying fears that hackers could drain customers’ bank accounts with the details they stole and claiming the firm’s cybersecurity is better than many of its competitors.

The chief executive of the UK ISP criticized media “scaremongering” following the major data breach last week.

“We are really frustrated with the number of sensationalist claims that are being made, not just about TalkTalk as a company but more importantly about customers losing millions and millions of pounds,” she told The Guardian.

“I think it’s actually very irresponsible because it’s whipping up fear about the digital world. Goodness knows I’ve been one of its biggest fans ... and it’s not right that having lost your bank account number and sort code that people can take money from your bank account—they can’t.”

The true scale of the breach is still not yet known, although TalkTalk has now said it believes the number of customers affected is “materially lower” than at first feared.

She also argued that the firm’s security had “improved dramatically” over the past year, since serious failings were pointed out by researcher Paul Moore.

“On that specific vulnerability, it’s much better than it was, and we are head and shoulders better than some of our competitors and some of the media bodies that were throwing those particular stones,” said Harding.

TalkTalk has apparently called in BAE Systems to help with its investigation into the incident. The Metropolitan Police and National Crime Agency (NCA) are also conducting their own investigation, although no arrests have been made so far.

The ISP’s website is back up and running after being targeted in a denial of service attack apparently used by the hackers as a smokescreen while they attempted to compromise customers’ financial data.

An update posted on Saturday claimed that no account passwords had been accessed by the attackers.

However, it advised customers to change their passwords as a precaution, to stay vigilant and report anything suspicious.

A free year’s worth of credit monitoring from Noddle is also being offered by the ISP.

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