Daniel Kelley, pictured outside the Old Bailey
A computer hacker who stole customer details from mobile network TalkTalk in a massive data breach which cost the company £77m in lost business is facing jail.
Daniel Kelley, 21, was one of a group of cyber criminals behind the massive data breach in October 2015.
The gang also demanded 465 bitcoin – now worth more than £285,000 – from 51-year-old former TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding in exchange for not releasing the data.
Kelley and his fellow hackers obtained email addresses, names and phone numbers, as well as 21,000 unique bank account numbers and sort codes.
TalkTalk was fined a record £400,000 for security failings which allowed customers’ data to be accessed ‘with ease’ in one of the biggest data breaches in history.
Kelley also carried out a DDoS attack on Coleg Sir Gar, a college in Carmarthenshire, Wales which caused ‘complications’ to the computer system at local hospitals.
Fellow hackers Connor Allsopp, 21, and Matthew Hanley, 23, both from Tamworth, Staffordshire, were jailed for a total of 20 months over their roles in the breaches last November.
Kelley’s sentence was delayed as he had been facing trial for a separate hack said to have been committed whilst he was on bail for the Talk Talk offences.
Pictured: Inside the bedroom of Daniel Kelley – who has been warned he faces jail for his involvement in the multi-million pound TalkTalk data hack
Fellow hacker Connor Allsopp (pictured), 21, was jailed for his role in the breaches last November
He had been accused of stealing the details of thousands of clients from an internet startup then blackmailing the chief executive for bitcoin.
The hacker allegedly infiltrated screen sharing website ScreenLeap – a company which provides users with remote access to another device’s screen – before demanding thousands of pounds worth of cryptocurrency from the firm’s founder, tech entrepreneur Tuyen Truong.
Matthew Hanley, 23, was also jailed
At the time of the alleged offence – said to have been committed between November 2015 and January 2016 – Kelley had already been arrested and released on police bail for the massive cyber-attack on the mobile network.
Kelley appeared at the Old Bailey today as the Crown indicated it was no longer in the public interest to proceed after doctors deemed him unfit to stand trial through depression.
They asked that the single count of blackmail lie on his file.
Kelley, of Dyfed, south Wales, previously admitted five separate charges of blackmail, one of doing unauthorised acts in relation to a computer, one of encouraging or assisting an offence of causing unauthorised access to a computer, one of causing a computer to perform an unauthorised function, one of converting criminal property, one of offering to supply an article for use in fraud and one of possessing an article for use in fraud.
He denied two counts of causing a computer to perform an unauthorised function, four of blackmail and one of obtaining articles to commit or assist in the commission of an offence. Those counts were also left to lie on file.
The gang demanded 465 bitcoin – now worth more than £285,000 – from former TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding (pictured) in exchange for not releasing the data
Kelley was bailed ahead of sentence at the Old Bailey, provisionally listed for February 25.
Jailing Hanley for 12 months and Allsopp for eight months last November, Judge Anuja Dhir said they were involved in a ‘significant, systematic, planned attack on the computer systems used by TalkTalk.
‘Others started it but you both at different times joined in.
‘The total loss is estimated to be £77 million.
‘I am sure that your actions caused misery and distress to many thousands of the customers at TalkTalk.
‘Your actions resulted in the then CEO being subjected to repeat attempts to blackmail her.
‘You were not personally involved but your actions facilitated it.
‘It is of the first importance that the court sends a clear message.
‘Illegal activities on this scale are not a game.’