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November 11, 2015

Cyber attack to cost TalkTalk up to £35m

News: Chief exec Dido Harding said it was 'too early to tell' what the long-term impact of the hack would be.

By Ellie Burns

Dido Harding, Chief exec at TalkTalk, has put a price on the cost of the recent cyber attack, estimating one-off costs at between £30m and £35m.

Harding told the BBC that the company was ‘well positioned to deliver strong and sustainable long-term growth’ in the wake of the attack which saw 4% of customers’ data accessed.

Harding said to the BBC: "The estimated one-off costs are between £30m and £35m – that’s covering the response to the incident, the incremental calls into our call centres, obviously the additional IT and technology costs, and then the fact that over the last three weeks until yesterday our online sales sites have been down, so there will be lost revenue as a result."

The cyber-attack saw the personal details of 156,959 customers accessed, with 15,656 bank account numbers and sort codes stolen.

With the company showing initial uncertainty before revealing the true extent of the data breach, Harding stated that it was "too early to tell" what the longer-term impact of the hack would be on the company.

In the short-term, customers have been offered upgrades, while those who have been impacted financially are free to leave the company without penalty.

Speaking to BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed, Harding said: "We of course saw an immediate spike in customers cancelling their direct debit, but actually after a few days we saw many of those customers reinstating their direct debits again, so time will tell, but the early signs are that customers think we are doing the right thing."

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