TalkTalk chief Dido Harding has received an email containing ransom demands from people claiming to be behind a massive cyber attack which could have affected up to four million customers.
Harding said she had personally been contacted by someone purporting to be the hacker "looking for money" she told the BBC.
"If you're a cyber-criminal the days of stealing data and then selling it for cash in the dark web - they're not so profitable as they used to be. And I do think that you see more cyber criminals wanting to effectively make money by extorting the companies that hold that data, and there've been a number of incidents just this week."
The company first revealed it had suffered a data breach on Thursday evening, in which customer details such as credit card numbers and dates of birth were accessed by hackers. The attack was first noticed at 3pm on Wednesday.
Harding has apologised for the breach, which is being investigated by the police and TalkTalk is in the process of contacting customers who are affected - although it still does not know the full extent of the attack.