HSBC bombarded by viruses

HSBC bombarded by viruses

UK high street bank HSBC has revealed that it is constantly bombarded by virus attacks with the daily rogue e-mail count often running into the tens of thousands.

Research by the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) claims UK businesses receive an average of seven viruses a day but, speaking at the NHTCU's eCrime conference in London, HSBC COO Alan Jebson said that the bank often received tens of thousands times that number.

Jebson says on its worst day last year, the bank recorded 100,000 virus attacks.

Despite this, HSBC claims phishing scams are a greater threat and are damaging customer confidence in online banking.

Jebson says the bank is co-operating with other financial firms such as Citibank to share information on security, and is also considering introducing three factor authentication to its online banking customers, which would include biometric verification.

The lastest research by the NHTCU estimates that fraud losses from hi-tech crime on UK-based companies with more than 1000 employees hit £2.45 billion last year.

Of the 200 companies surveyed, 97% of respondents had experienced virus attacks, while 90% suffered from unauthorised access to company systems and 89% had data or information stolen.

A recent survey conducted among 300 US businesses by Icsa Labs found virus encounters increased by nearly 50% from 2003, with a rate of 392 encounters per 1000 machines per month. The amount of actual infections also increased, represented by a rate of 116 infections per month.

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