The 15-year-old boy from Northern Ireland who was arrested in connection with the cybersecurity breach at phone company TalkTalk is believed to be addicted to violent video games. He is being home schooled after being repeatedly suspended from school.
It is not immediately known why he was suspended and when this took place. Neighbours described the boy as being more keen on staying in his bedroom than running around outside with other boys.
The boy, who was arrested at his home, which he shares with his mother at the Ballymena estate in County Antrim, has been described by neighbours as a loner who rarely leaves his bedroom. "He's always inside, in there 24/7 and up all night in his bedroom," a neighbour told the Daily Mail.
The boy, whose name has not been released, was being taught at home after being repeatedly suspended from school. A close family friend told the newspaper: "He never wanted to go to school. He is quite a small boy and small for his age. He never leaves the house. He never goes and hangs out with other lads of his age."
The boy had been spending hours playing violent video games such as Call Of Duty, Resident Evil and Grand Theft Auto. These games are not suitable for his age due to their graphic nature, the paper noted. A year ago, he wrote on his blog: "I'm a 14-year-old gamer who one day wants to be a professional Call Of Duty player." He says he does not like reading and "never really watches TV or movies".
The suspected hacker was in police custody for seven hours, according to neighbours, and released on bail on 27 October. He and his unemployed mother moved to the house about four years ago. His father and siblings live elsewhere.
Armed officers raided the house on 25 October and arrested the boy. A neighbour said the police were at the house for most of the day and left only when it was dark.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland, working alongside the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit, executed a search warrant at the boy's home on 26 October. The boy was arrested on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences. He has since been bailed to a date in November while enquiries continue.
Following the security breach at TalkTalk, chief executive Dido Harding said she had received a ransom demand from someone claiming to be responsible for the hack.