Welsh Man Gets Four Years for TalkTalk Attack

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A Welsh man diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome has been sentenced to four years behind bars for his role in a cyber-attack on TalkTalk which cost the company £77m.

Daniel Kelley, 22, from Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, will spend his sentence in a young offender institute after first pleading guilty to 11 offenses back in 2016.

These included: hacking the ISP and attempting to blackmail CEO Dido Harding and other executives, as well as “hacking his local college, encouraging and assisting hacking, possessing and offering to supply TalkTalk customer and other data and converting proceeds of blackmail from an Australian victim,” according to the Met Police.

“Kelley’s computers revealed from 2013 to 2015 that he had embarked on a cybercrime campaign hacking and blackmailing individuals and companies, attempting to sell compromised personal data online and committing cyber-attacks on infrastructure,” the London police force said.

“Over the three-year period, Kelley demanded over 753 Bitcoins valued at more than £123,700 successfully extorting £4400 in Bitcoins and attempted to conceal, convert and launder Bitcoins into cash. He had attempted to anonymize and conceal his identity and activities online using technology. As a result a significant amount of additional cybercrime offenses were identified and investigated by the Met.”

According to reports, Kelley turned to cybercrime after failing to get the grades he needed to get onto a computer course.

Kelley is just one of several people arrested following the 2015 attack on TalkTalk which led to the compromise of data on over 100,000 customers.

Another was a 17-year-old at the time, who admitted he hacked the firm to show off to friends.

The young age of the offenders is another indication that efforts are failing to get talented children to use their computing skills for positive ends.

At Infosecurity Europe last week, HaveIBeenPwned founder Troy Hunt urged: “We’ve got to do more to set kids back on the right path.”

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