Security alert - important information. Please read.


27 Sep 2011

We have become aware of a number of recent incidents involving attacks on internet banking sites, and provide the following information to assist you in your online protection.

How does it work?
These attempts begin with a user's PC being compromised with malicious code (malware) which is activated when a user logs on to an internet banking site. The user is presented with error messages and on-screen instructions which are not normal behaviours for the site. Users are encouraged to input their security credentials, and often instructed to wait during which time, fraudulent transactions are submitted using those same security credentials.

Suspicious behaviours
The following behaviours are not normal during the logon process for HSBCnet and any user that experiences one or some of the of the following may be under attack.

  • Users will be presented with screens which appear to be HSBCnet screens which may behave erratically, eg screen colours out of the ordinary
  • PC processing may become very slow
  • Elements of the page may be missing, misplaced or may not render fully or correctly
  • On-screen instructions may request the user to input their security credentials several times
  • On-screen messages may refer to synchronisation of security devices
  • Users of our new security tokens may be instructed to activate a code on their devices using the yellow button which is something that we would only ever request you to do at the time that you create a payment, and not when a user is logging in
  • Users may be provided with a code for them to input into their security devices at the time that they log in

What users should do
When any of the above behaviours or any other unusual behaviour are is experienced during logon, the user should stop what they are doing and immediately contact their HSBCnet Support team to report their experience. HSBC will be able to advise users what they should do next. Under no circumstances should users input a code provided to them on-screen at time of logon into their security device.

Contact Global Banking and Markets

Send media enquiries to:


Jezz Farr
Global Head of Communications, Global Banking and Markets

United Kingdom

Shani Halstead

Robert Baker

Lisa Baitup
Global Research


Sophie Ricord
Group Communications


Dr Christine Helbig
Global Banking and Markets


Evren Altiok
HSBC Bank, Turkey

Hong Kong

Helen Lam
Group Communications


Gareth Hewett
Group Communications

Adam Harper
Global Banking and Markets

Middle East

Paul Harris
Global Banking and Markets

United States

Juanita Gutierrez
Global Banking and Markets

Latin America

Lyssette Bravo
Group Communications