Customers use HSBC Holdings, Yap ve Kredi Bankasi and Turkiye Garanti Bankasi ATMs in Istanbul (file). The hack in Turkey resulted in the theft of data on cards and related bank accounts. No other information was stolen, and the breach shouldn’t result in financial risk for customers, London-based HSBC said.
HSBC Holdings’ Turkish unit said it lost 2.7mn customers’ bank data in a cyber-attack.
The hack resulted in the theft of data on cards and related bank accounts, Europe’s biggest lender said in an e-mailed statement. No other information was stolen, and the breach shouldn’t result in financial risk for customers, London-based HSBC said.
Government officials and security specialists around the world have said more needs to be done to prevent cyber-crime in global financial system and protect customers after a series of high-profile hackings. JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest US bank, said 76mn households were affected by a data breach last month. EBay Inc and Home Depot Inc were also attacked.
It is hard to know whether this is Turkey’s worst security breach, said Selahaddin Karatas, founder of passwordless security company SAASPASS. The country hasn’t historically enforced a requirement to disclose data breaches to victims, unlike those in force in more than 40 US states, he said.
“There have been breaches in the past in Turkey, but because there was no obligation for transparency or disclosure it wasn’t really made public,” Karatas said by phone from San Francisco.
Cyber-attacks are rarer in many European countries than they are in the US, according to Karatas, because of the prevalence of EMV, a system for authenticating bank card transactions.
Visa Inc, MasterCard Inc and American Express Co have given US retailers and banks until October to adopt EMV - which requires either a signature or a personal identification number - or assume liability for some fraudulent transactions.
HSBC in June appointed James Emmett chief executive officer of its Turkey operations. The former global head of trade finance replaced Martin Spurling, who became head of retail banking in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
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