HSBC admitted that a data breach in October 2018 resulted in the hacking of an undisclosed number of US customer accounts. The bank said the perpetrators may have gained access to account numbers and balances, statement and transaction histories and payee details, as well as users’ names, addresses and dates of birth.

The banking giant believes less than 1% of its American customers were affected. HSBC currently has around 1.4 million US accounts. It said that so far it has not seen evidence of fraudulent activity as a result of the breach. However, no details of the attack, or its exact nature have been given.

Ian Woolley, chief revenue officer at data tracking platform Ensighten’s, criticised the extent of information accessed by hackers. He warned that it is having a negative impact on consumer trust.

Mr Woolley commented:

“Look at everything that was compromised with the HSBC breach: both PII and financial history, …It’s no wonder that consumers are growing frustrated with the steady stream of data breach news these days, and their trust is becoming more fragile.”

The breach was reported to California’s Attorney General Office on November 2, 2018 although the bank first became aware of the unauthorised access sometime between October 4 and October 14

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