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May 8th, 2008

HSBC Bank Lost 159,000 More Customers Records

HSBC bank has admitted losing a server containing transaction data on 159,000 Hong Kong-based account holders. It happens just a few weeks after the group admitted they lost a computer disc with details of 370,000 customers of bank’s life insurance offices in Southampton. HSBC has also had all sorts of problems keeping its e-payments system up and running over recent weeks, while back in March it forgot to renew a digital certificate, leaving customers confronted by a potentially confusing warning.

The bank said on Wednesday that the recent incident happened during renovation work at a Kwun Tong district branch on 26 April. Data held on the server included customer names, account numbers, transaction amounts and transaction types, but not PIN codes or online banking login credentials. Copies of the data were held on backup tapes.

HSBC promised to cover any fraudulent losses stemming from the breach, for which it apologized, while stressing that the possibilities of data falling into the wrong hands are minimal. According to HSBC, the server is protected by multiple layers of security and the risk of data leakage or fraudulent transactions resulting from the loss of the server is deemed to be low.

A spokeswoman for the bank explained that it waited two weeks before publicly disclosing the server theft in order to conduct an internal investigation designed to discover the extent of the problem. Hong Kong police are continuing to investigate the theft.

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