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TalkTalk teen hacker pleads guilty as firm reveals £22m profit jump

95,000 subs left after hack – 94,000 joined in last six months

By Gareth Corfield, 15 Nov 2016

TalkTalk has unveiled a healthy jump in post-tax profits on the same day a 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty to hacking the British telco.

This morning the teenager, who because of his age cannot be named, pleaded guilty at Norwich Youth Court to seven charges under the Computer Misuse Act.

He will be sentenced on 13 December, according to Sky News.

The youth was arrested in November last year by detectives from the Metropolitan Police's Cyber Crime Unit, who obtained a search warrant for his Norwich home.

Meanwhile, TalkTalk boasted that its profits jumped by £22m in the first half of this financial year, up from £11m in the six months ending September 2015 to £33m in the same period this year.

The jump in profits came in spite of the telco shedding 30,000 fixed-line broadband customers between the first half of fiscal year 2016 and H1 FY2017 as it enjoyed a net rise of 94,000 mobile subscribers, giving it a combined total of 4.76 million customers. Perhaps TalkTalk's cheesy telly ads showing a Gogglebox-style family streaming videos on their tablets are working after all.

Chief exec Dido Harding gave London business freesheet City AM a hair-shirt interview this morning, boasting of how the company has improved since the teenage hacker and his alleged accomplices walked off with the personal details and banking information of up to four million customers.

"We also learnt that if you're open and honest with your customers everything works out alright," she said. "They think, in adversity, we tried our damnedest to look after them."

TalkTalk’s revenues dipped by 1.1 per cent to £902m for the half-year, which the firm said was "as expected". It has previously admitted that the major October hack cost it 95,000 customers and around £45m in extra security and service restoration costs. ®

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