The fine is the biggest ever levied by the Information Commissioner

The UK s data watchdog has fined TalkTalk a record £400,000 over last year s cyber attack on the company in which the personal details of thousands of customers were exposed.

The attack last October breached the accounts of 157,000 customers to steal data that included credit cards, bank account numbers, names and phone numbers.

On Wednesday, the Information Commissioner s Office said TalkTalk had failed when it came to the basic principles of cyber security , and found it to be in breach of the Data Protection Act.

The fine is the biggest the ICO has ever laid down, moving close to the maximum £500,000 penalty it can order, and comes just months after the new Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham took the post.

TalkTalk s failure to implement the most basic cyber security measures allowed hackers to penetrate TalkTalk s systems with ease, she said.

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