Feeds

HFC bank loses its marbles over customer CC details

You think they've heard of phishing?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Customers of HFC Bank, a subsidiary of HSBC, are threatening legal action after an "operator error" exposed personal information in emails from the bank.

The bank emailed 2,600 of its Marbles credit card customers with a message marked "Urgent", asking them to contact the bank within 24 hours. But the sender somehow included the entire distribution list in the outgoing mail.

According to the FT, an already bad situation was made worse because automated replies from some addresses also went to the whole distribution list, revealing phone numbers and details of holiday dates.

The bank has admitted the blunder breaches data protection law, and has credited the accounts of those affected with £50. But the BBC reports that customers are still considering legal action.

One customer, Brad Green, has set up a forum for fellow mailees to share their views. He describes the error as "a catastrophic breach of data protection" and believes there is a strong case against the bank.

HFC has contacted the Information Commission (IC) to report the breach of the data protection act. The IC says that it is taking no action on this occasion.

Legal issues aside, this incident is still eyebrow-raising because of the way the bank is contacting its customers.

In this case, the message asked customers to phone a helpline number rather than reply by mail. But it sets up an interaction between bank and customer which can easily be exploited - setting up a phony helpline number is not difficult, after all. If customers expect to be contacted by email, when a phishing scam arrives in their inbox, they'll be more likely to treat it as genuine correspondence.

HFC says it has used email to reach customers for years, and that no problems have arisen until now. It also advises customers not to divulge account information over the internet. ®

Related stories

Invasion of the identity snatchers
Spammers embrace email authentication
DIY phishing kits hit the Net

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.