30 September 2016
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HSBC online and mobile services downed by cyber attack

29 January 2016  |  9900 views  |  5 HSBC sign

HSBC customers remain locked out of internet and mobile services for much of Friday after the bank was subjected to a denial of service attack.

HSBC says it "successfully defended" the attack, but services remained down for many online banking customers well into the afternoon. The downtime comes at a critical time for many customers, landing on the last day of the month and just four days before the submission of UK tax returns.

The bank says it's working with law authorities to identify the attackers, but remained offline and - in an ominous note on Twitter - advised that all branches will be open on Saturday.

The latest outage comes at an unfortunate time for the bank,  just days after UK parliamentarians criticised the UK's biggest banks for a string of IT glitches over the past year.

In early January HSBC chief operating officer John Hackett apologised in a video over Twitter for the two days of disruption to online and mobile banking services as UK customers returned to work in the New Year, although that was not the result of a cyber attack.

Arbor Networks’ most recent Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report found that 57% of financial institutions have experienced a DDoS attack – the highest of any sector.

Richard Brown, director Emea and channel at Arbor, states: "HSBC will have to ensure that the attack was not used as a ‘smokescreen’, drawing the IT department’s attention towards this event while sensitive data is stolen or malware is implanted in the network. "

 

Comments: (5)

João Bohner
João Bohner - Independent Consultant - Carapicuiba | 29 January, 2016, 17:00

It is notoriously known that these problems stem from the failure of back office systems, to follow the cosmetic changes to the front-office APIs, omnichannel (the Fintechs), and the appropriate integration with legacy systems.


The "Bank of the Future", an Architecture in which I am working on, solves this problem 'elegantly'.


joao.bohner@gmail.com

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Hitesh Thakkar
Hitesh Thakkar - FIS Payments Software and Services India - India | 31 January, 2016, 15:01

@Joao - You may be right but, any bank with legacy system need to face such things as they may be having outdated performance monitoring tools which has not pre-empted them.

For bulky banks ( Those use mainframes and unoptimised coded software) need to be careful with their change management, testing before making design or UX changes.

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João Bohner
João Bohner - Independent Consultant - Carapicuiba | 31 January, 2016, 19:09

@Hitesh,

You got it!

This is the proposal!


To wipe out the legacy systems, piggybacking to the financial transactions, the updating of  all back office tasks such as accounting, compliance, Central Bank, etc.
And one of the beauties of the "Bank of the Future" is the way to process financial transactions, in a corporate way, rather of processing by lines-of-business.
You know, when you process by lines-of-business, you create "silos" for each line-of-business while when processing corporately, you create a single source of information.

This significantly simplifies the entire back office and provides a great agility.

Also, as everything is updated online, realtime, decisions can be taken 'at the moment'.

And last but not least, there will be no more end-of-day tasks. (as known nowadays).

This is the only way to 'bulky banks' catch up with technology evolution!

Any other try will be a change of six by half-dozen...

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Hitesh Thakkar
Hitesh Thakkar - FIS Payments Software and Services India - India | 01 February, 2016, 09:41

@Joao, I looked at your linkedIN profile and Bank of the Future architecture. Methdology is good and it has worked for several banks. One of the observation in design is the huge change management and migration needed and managing it has its own art and science. 

Kudos to you and your team for managing so many of implementations successfully.

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João Bohner
João Bohner - Independent Consultant - Carapicuiba | 01 February, 2016, 10:35

@Hitesh,

You are absolutely right!


The jump in technology becomes tiny in relation to the enormous task of re-engineering of processes.

Another problem (this perhaps pleasant) is the relationship with the unions, because of the large number of employees laid off due to automation and streamlining of the tasks.

  The transformation has to be carefully planned and especially managed.

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