Paisley privacy plea for TalkTalk hacking suspect’s family

The 15-year-old was released on bail after his arrest on Monday
The 15-year-old was released on bail after his arrest on Monday

The family of the teenager arrested over the TalkTalk cyber attack should be given time and space to cope with their ordeal, the MP for North Antrim has said.

Ian Paisley said neither the 15-year-old hacking suspect nor his family are able to comment on the case and wish to have their privacy respected.

There has been international interest in the story of the alleged theft of data from the telecoms giant.

The teenager was detained in Co Antrim on Monday on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences but later released on bail. Officers from both the PSNI and the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit were involved in the operation.

Mr Paisley said: “I have spoken with the mother of the teenager arrested and bailed in relation to the TalkTalk case.

“The family are trying to come to terms with this situation and although they appreciate the wide public and press interest in this matter, can I appeal for the press to cease contacting the family at their home.”

Stormont justice committee chairman Alastair Ross said the case “highlights the changing nature of crime,” and added: “The ability of criminals to communicate online, operate under a cloak of virtual anonymity on the dark net and buy illegal services using electronic currency means that it is clearly challenging for law enforcement agencies who are operating in a new borderless digital world.”

TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding said at the weekend that it was unclear how many of its four million UK customers had been affected by the attack, which targeted the company’s website rather than its “core systems”.