Dec 042018

Christopher P. Hahn. writes:

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California recently dismissed a consumer’s putative class action lawsuit against a mortgage lending and servicing company for purported damages sustained as a result of a security breach wherein his personal information was compromised, and the hackers attempted to open credit cards in his name.

Although the Court previously concluded that the consumer had standing to bring his claims under Article III of the Constitution, it held that the consumer failed to state causes of action for negligence and violations of various California laws.

A copy of the opinion in Razuki v. Caliber Home Loans, Inc. is available at:  Link to Opinion.

Read more on MauriceWutscher Consumer Financial Services Blog.

Dec 032018

Dan Oakes reports:

The Commonwealth Bank is urgently investigating a potential data breach that may have given its staff access to customers’ sensitive medical information.

The issue was discovered around late July as the bank made preparations for the $3.8 billion sale of its insurance arm, CommInsure, to the AIA group.

Medical information supplied by an unknown number of customers to CommInsure was made available to other arms of the bank, including to staff who decide whether to approve or decline loan applications.

Read more on ABC (AU).

Nov 092018

Rob Stock reports:

“Employee browsing” is a term for when bank staff access customers’ private information for their own uses.

And Privacy Commissioner John Edwards says banks aren’t doing enough to prevent it.

Following the publication on Monday of a review of bank conduct by the Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Edwards said banks must do more to protect the privacy of their customers.

Read more on Stuff.

I don’t call it “employee browsing.” I call it “snooping.”

Nov 062018

Dunya News reports:

Echoes pertaining to the sale of Pakistani bank users’ credit and debit cards in black market continues to resonate.

An international report suggests that the card data of at least 20,000 Pakistani bank users have been sold at the dark web. It includes 22 Pakistani banks and 19,864 cards.

In the first phase, data of 8864 cards was sold on dark web on October 26. Later the information of additional 11,000 cards was sold on October 31.

The data was sold in auction style whereas the price of the card ranged between 100-160 dollars as per credit limit. The report revealed that international cyber criminals also had local assistance.

Read more on Dunya News.

In related news, The News reports:

In an explosive disclosure, an official of Federal Investigation Agency has said that the data of major Pakistani banks have been hacked

According to FIA Cyber Crimes Director (retd) Capt Mohammad Shoaib, the banks have not shared the details with the authorities, however, the investigations conducted by the agency confirmed the incidents of data theft of ‘almost all’ banks.

Read more on The News.

Nov 052018

On November 2, HSBC sent letters to an undisclosed number of customers concerning a breach of their accounts. A template of the letter was submitted to the California Attorney General’s Office. It states, in part:

HSBC became aware of online accounts being accessed by unauthorized users between October 4, 2018 and October 14, 2018. When HSBC discovered your online account was impacted, we suspended online access to prevent further unauthorized entry of your account.


The information that may have been accessed includes your full name, mailing address, phone number, email address, date of birth, account numbers, account types, account balances, transaction history, payee account information, and statement history where available.

The letter does not explain how the attackers were able to access the accounts — whether there was any credential stuffing or another type of attack. But they state that in response to the breach, “We have enhanced our authentication process for HSBC Personal Internet Banking, adding an extra layer of security.”

So what does that mean? Are they first going to 2FA or were they already deploying 2FA and have added a different type of layer? sent an email inquiry to HSBC and will update this post if additional details are received.

Update: A spokesperson for HSBC responded to this site’s inquiry. In an emailed statement, he explained that last month, their fraud monitoring team detected evidence that a relatively small percentage of online accounts (fewer than 1% of U.S. accounts) were being accessed by unauthorized users. In response, the bank immediately suspended online access and required affected users to contact the bank.

HSBC regrets this incident, and we take our responsibility for protecting our customers very seriously. We responded to this incident by fortifying our log-on and authentication processes, and implemented additional layers of security for digital and mobile access to all personal and business banking accounts. We have notified those customers whose accounts may have experienced unauthorized access, and are offering them one year of credit monitoring and identify theft protection service.

The bank strengthened security measures by requiring customers to enter additional pieces of personal information along with user name and password. So it sounds like HSBC deployed 2FA in response to the incident.

It also sounds like they believe this was a credential stuffing attack. In response to this site’s article and inquiry, the spokesperson informed that

We believe that personal information obtained from sources other than HSBC was used. This may have included passwords from other non-HSBC accounts, aka,”credential stuffing.

He also wrote:

“We are reminding our customers to protect access to their banking accounts by regularly changing their passwords, and by using unique passwords they are not using elsewhere, including on any social media accounts.”